Saturday, March 25, 2017
Username Password
Home » News » National News » Toowoomba citizens pledge to make the city porn-free
Professional Standards Office

Toowoomba citizens pledge to make the city porn-free

porn-free city

No pornography: Regional city Toowoomba wants a porn-free town. Photo: A City Free From Porn website.

HUNDREDS of Toowoomba’s men, many of them leading citizens, have rallied in the city’s civic square and sworn not to watch pornography.

In a public pledge, they stood shoulder-to-shoulder, and repeated aloud words spoken by mayor Paul Antonio: “I acknowledge viewing pornography promotes exploitation of women. And violence against women. And it damages families. I commit that I won’t view porn and I will help create a city free of porn.”

Toowoomba may be the first city to take this pledge, and it just may be leading a campaign with the potency to spread to other cities.

“I strongly believe that as citizens of Toowoomba we have a responsibility for the well-being of our city,” resident Letita Shelton, the chief executive officer of a local group, City Women, said.

“We are not only living here just to earn an income, raise a family and die. But we have been placed here to build the wider community and to make Toowoomba a better place for women and girls.”

Ms Shelton’s (pictured)  idea for a campaign developed after she attended a conference about the exploitation of women in Florida last year.

At that conference she heard how the US army and navy had introduced campaigns to stop the damage pornography was causing to troops.

“I am very aware of the link between domestic violence issue that we have in our nation, and I became very aware of the link between pornography and domestic violence, but nobody really wanting to talk publicly about it,” she said.

“Eighty-eight per cent of pornography depicts violence against women – choking, gagging, punching, pulling hair. Research is just starting to show what pornography does to your brain. It dehumanises a person, it objectifies them and so then they are acting out what they see in pornography, on their partners.

“Because of the work I do with girls in our city I started to hear stories of partners addicted to porn and how they were playing out violently for them.”

She said figures showed that 90 per cent of teen boys had watched online porn – often particularly violent videos.

Ms Shelton said Toowomba’s mayor was pleased to be a leading voice in the campaign and it was he who invited the city’s men to come together for a public pledge against pornography.

“This will be the beginning of a journey… and given time make sure this community becomes free from pornography,” mayor Paul Antonio said.

At the rally, residents also delivered personal testimonials, including Dave Willadsen who spoke about his addiction to porn for more than a decade, the impact it had on his life and how he viewed women as sexual objects.

Ms Shelton said she was proud of Toowoomba as a family-friendly community of more than 100,000 residents, but it’s dark side is born out in some troubling statistics.

“We have the highest chlamydia rate per head of population in Australia. Domestic Violence, drugs, homelessness, depression are significant issues in our city and nation,” she said.

 “It is also estimated that around 500 babies are aborted a year in Toowoomba.

“It’s easy to think… ‘somebody should do something about this’. Well, that somebody is you and I. “

MsShelton said she would continue to work with key community leaders on her anti-porn is crusade. 

So how will she grow her message?

“Our first port-of-call is to bring a lot more education. There is just so much research now about the harms of porn: what it is doing to your brain, to relationships, to society, so we have to make our city aware of that,” she said.

“Like the anti-smoking campaign for the last 50 years. It started by introducing research of the damage smoking does to you. 

“We need to do that around the pornography issue. We are starting there, by just getting people talking about it.”            

By Mark Bowling

Comments are closed.

Our Silver Sponsors
Scroll To Top