3 Easy Ways to Advocate for a Public Health Response to Porn [Canada]

3 Easy Ways to Advocate for a Public Health Response to Porn [Canada]

Summer vacation here we come! Read on to find out how you can advocate for a public health response to porn, while still enjoying your summer holiday.  If you are like me, you are looking very forward to a break in routine. Who doesn’t love the carefree days of summer? Perhaps you have a cross-country vacation planned or a bunch of local events to attend with the fam-jam. Maybe there are even days that you plan to do nothing at all! (I hope so). One thing is for sure —NO MORE SCHOOL LUNCHES! Whoo-hoo!  Exploring new possibilities Along with taking it easy, each summer I also like to get a few small tasks crossed off my To-Do list —the things I never seem to have time for during the school year. This summer I hope to explore some new options for the Parents Aware site. As such, you may notice a drop in the frequency of our posts of our posts over the summer. Not to worry,...
Read More
Act Now! 120 Days to Influence Government Policy on Porn

Act Now! 120 Days to Influence Government Policy on Porn

What would YOU do? If you were in a position to issue recommendations to the Canadian government you knew would significantly diminish the risk of childhood exposure to violent and sexually degrading content, would you? My guess is that 90% of people would be 100% in support of this. And yet the Standing Committee on Health has decidedly chosen not to concern themselves with the health of children —nor for that matter the culture of violence against women as it pertains to unrestricted access to all forms of pornography. The long anticipated results of the M-47 study are in and they are absolutely deflating. Mandated to examine public health effects As you may recall, the committee was mandated to examine the public health effects of the ease of access and viewing of online violent and degrading sexually explicit material on children, women and men. This study had incredible potential to lead out as the defining report to help inform future government policy in this...
Read More
Three Proven Concepts to Get You Off the Fence and Talking to Your Kids About Porn

Three Proven Concepts to Get You Off the Fence and Talking to Your Kids About Porn

This post is an adaptation of one I originally wrote for Strength to Fight. A recent experience made me realize it's worth repeating. Even when we know a conversation needs to be had we often feel stuck in our tracks. I will share three proven concepts that helped me get off the fence and start talking to my own kids about the dangers of porn.  Shaking my hand he said, “That was so great. Thanks for talking about this. I just know it’s so important.” This is the response I often get when I tell parents —Talk to your kids about porn. Tell them why it is dangerous— Everyone’s head nods in agreement. “This is a really tough subject to bring up!” my new friend continues. I nod empathetically, while encouraging him that he can do it. “I know we're going to have to deal with it soon enough.” “Yup, you are… Everyone today has to,” I repeat in my own head. “Luckily our boy hasn’t come to...
Read More
Sexual Health: 4 Strategies For EASY Parent/Child Talks

Sexual Health: 4 Strategies For EASY Parent/Child Talks

A few years ago I asked my children to rate (on a scale of 1 to 10) my openness in talking to them about sexual health and intimacy. One of my boys generously gave me a three! This didn’t come as any great shock. I knew I had work to do. Somehow I needed to find a way to make “the talk” occur naturally and regularly in our home. I realized that if I wanted to protect my children from negative influences in the media (pornography included) I had to become the go-to-expert on sex —at least in the eyes of my children. If I wasn’t willing to discuss sex comfortably in our home then how could I not expect my kids to see media as the gauge for what is and isn’t appropriate. In this blog post I am going to share four practical ways I am using right now to improve my ability to talk openly with my kids...
Read More
Fair Warning and A Fighting Chance [Family Resource]

Fair Warning and A Fighting Chance [Family Resource]

Recently, my kids and I revisited Good Pictures Bad Pictures —a book by Kristen Jenson and Gail Poyner. It's really the first tool I used to teach my kids about the harmful effects of pornography. Now, I am even more in love with the book. And I am going to tell you why I think every parent needs to have a copy of this amazing resource in their home. All kids deserve fair warning and a fighting chance I am going to let you in on a secret. I have really good kids. I’m not trying to brag, but they are the kind of kids that sometimes makes me want to avoid parent teacher conferences. I just don’t know how to respond to the many nice things that are said about them. Yes, it’s a really good problem to have. Maybe you’ve got the same problem? If you do, then you will understand me when I say: despite how good they are, like...
Read More
Past Due: Canada’s Cultural Shift Against Porn

Past Due: Canada’s Cultural Shift Against Porn

The Standing Committee on Health concluded hearings on the public health effects of violent pornography on Children, Women and Men (M-47). The following is a summary information most relevant to the conversations at Parents Aware. At what cost? “The fact that a kid can log onto the Internet to do a book report and accidentally come across pornography is the cost of doing business in the Internet age.”   This was Dr. William Fisher’s derisive response when asked by Arnold Viersen if he believed “children exposed to sexually explicit material is child abuse?” Fisher continued, “there’s no question but that sexual abuse of children is a crime … as to whether a child coming across this material is a form of child abuse, I would wait to see if it has very negative consequences.” Dr. Kim Roberts has already played the wait-and-see game. As a forensic psychologist, she knows it's consequences. (In Canada successful prosecution rates for child abuse are as low as 2%). To avoid getting...
Read More
Proactive Parenting: Teaching Young Children Resilience Against Pornography

Proactive Parenting: Teaching Young Children Resilience Against Pornography

Can preschool age children be taught to reject pornography? Absolutely! This was confirmed to me when I met with Jane. We were introduced through a mutual friend who knew of our shared passion for talking openly about the harms of pornography. Jane is a delightful young mom with a two-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter. I listened carefully while she shared with me how she is teaching her own kids to reject pornography. The interview below is a paraphrased version of our conversation. I hope you come to appreciate Jane’s wisdom as much as I do. Interview: First things first PA: I love that you have made it a priority in your home to talk with your children about the dangers of pornography. I’m interested to learn what kinds of strategies you implement with young children. J: Sure … I should clarify though. My two-year-old son is not that communicative yet. Most of the dialogue that I am going to talk about occurs with my four-year-old daughter. For...
Read More
The Power of One in the Movement for Love: Finding my inner hero

The Power of One in the Movement for Love: Finding my inner hero

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. --Edward Everett Hale What makes a father of two young children want to run 30 marathons with handcuffs on? LOVE. Garrett Jonsson says simply: “I love my wife, I love my kids, I love my community and I love you. I believe that LOVE is worth fighting for. I believe that if I’m not actively fighting against pornography, then I’m aiding its growth.” Breaking the silence Garrett was sick of letting the porn industry destroy individuals and families. So the year of his 30th birthday (2016), he decided to do something that would get people to stop and take notice. He committed to run 26.2 miles everyday for 3O days in handcuffs. It was his way to break the silence and start a public conversation about pornography. A conversation to bring awareness to the fact that pornography...
Read More
Celebrate International Women’s Day: #Be Bold For Change

Celebrate International Women’s Day: #Be Bold For Change

As International Women’s Day is celebrated in our communities and throughout social media today organizers are asking that we consider what we can do to move society towards greater gender parity. A recent report from the World Economics Forum predicts that, “the gender gap will not close entirely until 2186”. We think that is too long. Showing your support for International Women’s Day is one way to raise awareness and become a vehicle for change. #EqualityMatters #BeBoldForChange At Parents Aware we can’t think of a better way to champion the cause of women worldwide than to be like our young friend in the following true story. 12-year-old speaks out against pornography It’s 11 am Sunday morning, when most boys his age would be home sleeping or playing their favourite video game. Instead Samuel (name changed) is at church, sharply dressed in a suit and tie. It is what he does every Sunday. Only this Sunday, Samuel appears even more remarkable. Today, at the invitation...
Read More
Mainstream Businesses Profiting from Sexual Exploitation —and what you can to stop them!

Mainstream Businesses Profiting from Sexual Exploitation —and what you can to stop them!

Have you ever wondered if any of the well-established brands or businesses you support, profit from or facilitate sexual exploitation? The National Center On Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) can inform you. Each year they make it a top priority to find out which corporations are the worst offenders. When these entities refuse to adjust their business practices, they find themselves on the Dirty Dozen List. According to NCOSE, the purpose of the Dirty Dozen List is to "name and shame the bad corporate actors in America that perpetuate sexual exploitation —whether that be through pornography, prostitution or sex trafficking."   The list is a tool for effecting change. In the past five years NCOSE has influenced major corporations such as Google, Hilton Worldwide, and Walmart among others to make significant policy adjustments. Some of the names on this year’s list may not come as a surprise (Twitter, Cosmopolitan, HBO) while others are more shocking (Amazon, Amnesty International, EBSCO —an educational database used in schools K-12)....
Read More