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,...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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)....
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5 Compelling Reasons I Blog About Pornography Awareness

5 Compelling Reasons I Blog About Pornography Awareness

A few experiences of late have caused me to want to put down in words the reason why I do what I do. Why did I create Parents Aware?  Read to the end to discover my top five reasons. At the doctor’s office I am meeting a new doctor today. Which means filling out standard medical forms again. I come to the question that has the least to do with my health but has probably caused me the most grief for the past 22 years. What is your occupation? This is not a blog about how to define the role of a stay-at-home-mother, nor is it about the validity of blogging as a career. Yet for a split second both those issues cause me a brief internal struggle. In the end I go for it. … Blogger After the mandatory 15 min wait, I am ushered into the examining room where my new doctor looks over the forms, dives in with small talk and attempts to...
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Act Now! M-47 Gives Parents A Voice Against the Porn Industry

Act Now! M-47 Gives Parents A Voice Against the Porn Industry

Victory In Canada!  This is the subject line of an email I received just a few days before the holiday break. The email continued to explain that a Private Member's Bill, Motion M-47 (the Online Sexual Violence Motion), had just been unanimously adopted in the House of Commons. I couldn’t believe my eyes! For anyone who considers pornography a public health concern, this is BIG news. I wondered how I had missed hearing about it locally and scrambled to search online newspapers for the story. The papers were silent. Confused, I called the MP’S office from which the motion originated to plead for further information about the victory the press seemed reluctant to cover. Here’s what I learned: [Be sure to read to the end of this article and find out how your voice will ensure that Motion M-47 has the best possible chance of creating greater public awareness about the dangers of pornography.] What is Motion M-47? I discovered that Alberta MP, Arnold Viersen...
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Does Your School get a Passing Grade on Pornography Awareness?

Does Your School get a Passing Grade on Pornography Awareness?

I started to feel a bit anxious as I sat waiting for the Principal in the school office —like I was a kid getting in trouble for something I didn’t do. Interestingly enough, when she opened her door and extended a welcoming hand, I sensed similar apprehensions on her part. For better or worse, I had managed until this moment to slip under the radar of our new Administration. Now here I was at our first face-to-face, ready to talk about pornography and its influence at school —Gulp! I knew, according to the letter that had come home the first day of class, that our school has an  Acceptable Use Policy for computing and information technologies (AUP). Also, the School Board uses up-to-date filtering software to help safeguard students’ online activities. What I was most interested in knowing was how does the school prepare students for the inevitability that they will be exposed to inappropriate content online —including pornography— either on school grounds...
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What Would You Say? —Speaking to youth about pornography

What Would You Say? —Speaking to youth about pornography

For four days this week I have had the privilege of hanging out with some of the coolest teens you will ever meet. I am at the University of Waterloo, Ontario attending what is called YLC (Youth Leadership Conference) for the LDS church. There are nearly 600 youth in attendance. In observing these kids I can see that individually they are each shy, anxious and worried about life in one way or another. But they are also exceptionally bright, fun, exuberant and strong. Together they are a force to be reckoned with. The combined creativity and imagination among these youth is astounding! United in faith, they start each of the four days together in devotional, including song, prayer and inspirational messages. The evenings are taken up with dances and a variety night, showcasing the extraordinary talents of these young people. Throughout the day this force of energy commits to providing service in the community, participation in sports and recreational activities and attends additional...
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Speaking out in the Community

Speaking out in the Community

Our house is situated at the opening to a quiet crescent street. Quiet —that is— until school lets out and half the boys in seventh grade can be found running around our yard. When we bought the corner house fourteen years ago I was concerned about the traffic we might get, being at the crossroads. Turns out I love the fact that newcomers to the block think I run an after school program. Being involved in my kids’ lives is one of my greatest joys. Hearing them laugh, play and holler is the icing on the cake. Along with a quiet crescent, the house is situated a stone’s throw away from a fabulous elementary school. The staff is wonderful and the community involvement is high. Really, we lucked out when we set up shop here. Tonight I dug right into the community spirit by giving a short presentation to the Board members of our Student Community Council. My objective was to spread...
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