Framing the Problem

The Power, Popularity and Pervasiveness of the Internet

With the rise in the popularity of the internet, the easy of access (on your iPad, iTouch, phone, etc) and the amount of dangers out there. The dangers the internet bring into our homes, living rooms, bedrooms cannot be underestimated.

Just to give context to this, it is estimated that 2.2 billion (31% of the global population) have access to the internet and it has just surpassed the pervasivness of the television which as you know can be tightly regulated by broadcasting authorities. No such regulation exists on the internet. On Facebook alone there are 900 million users (2012), if it was a country it would be the third largest country behind China and India.

The Pervasiveness of Pornography

The problem that we are talking about is perhaps the largest industry the world has ever known. It is the pornographic industry which involves two of the largest underworlds – that of pornography itself (an industry consumed by 297 million (2011) users and worth US$97 billion. It also feeds and the multi-billion dollar human sex trafficking industry exists to support the lusts of these industries.

Here are some statistics which the Josh McDowell ministry has published. 35% of all searches and 25% of all downloads are porn-related. 67% of all Christian youth in the United States aged 12-25 have accessed porn and 47% of Christian families report pornography as a major problem in their homes. The ramification of such a vice have proven influences and impact on the marital, social and sexual health of the future generation of adults in the church. In fact world-renown author and speaker Josh McDowell characterises “sexual immorality through the internet” as, “the greatest threat to the church, mission, family…”

Here is the trailer of the just1clickaway.org campaign

A Larger Problem

The problem is compounded since the industry fuels another multi-billion dollar underground industry which sexually exploits the young children and teenagers in ways which amounts to something akin to modern day slavery – the trafficking of young boys, girls and teenagers for sex.


References:

Josh McDowell – address to the Americal Association of Christian Counsellors (AACC) – Just 1 Click notes. Accessed 21 Sep 12.

Identifying the Heart of the Problem

Simplifing and Defining the Issues

In our white paper, we simplify the issues as

1. Sexual exploitation of vulnerable children and teenagers.

2. Trafficking and abuse of such children and teenagers for the above purposes.

Heart of the Problem

We frame the problem as such:

1. The victims

(Note: We argue the consumption of pornography by underaged children is detrimental to their normal development and hence they are included both as consumers as well as victims)

a. Innocent young girls and boys as young as 7 years old.

Children who are kidnapped or sold to traffickers (usually from Eastern Europe and Asia). Abused children in foster care or even in the care of their families (or step families). As the note above states, underaged children who are exposed to Internet pornography are also considered victims.

It has been documented that many of the abused (particularly male victims) themselves later become abusers1. Hence the prevention of the children becoming victims stops the cycle of victimization of others later down the road.  Some are used as sexual slaves and models for online Internet pornography (which is illegal, but few are ever caught or prosecuted successfully).

b. Teenage girls and boys (average age 14)

Teenagers are usually befriended by perpetrators and either blackmailed or forced to provide sexual services to others.  This can also lead to other devastating consequences (Google “Amanda Todd, Canada”).

Some are groomed (through a romantic relationship) or are relatives of the traffickers and provide sexual service to client for payment. Though their continuation may be deemed “by choice”, their initial entry is often always coerced or by blackmail or rape. Hence, they are still considered victims since if they had not been coerced they would probably not have so chose such a path. The law also suggests that they are not mature enough to make an informed choice.

Many are used as sexual slaves and models for online Internet pornography. (It is illegal in many cases to use pornographic material of teens under 17 or 18).

c. Youth (especially teenage girls) who cannot escape the sex trade

2. The perpentrators

a. Pimps, Johns and Madams

These seduce, entrap, trick, blackmail the victims into this trade and make a living off them.

b. People who traffic such the victims for sexual exploitation.

People who traffic young children and girls often make a living travelling with children to and fro third world countries.

c. People who exploit them and make a living off their victims on line as porn.

Some do it as a full time occupation or some may be seemingly normal people who force their partners who they have an ongoing relationship with to engage in porn to reap the ill-gotten gains. Needless to say, they go through many partners since their interest is in the seduction of innocent children, teens and youth (particularly but not solely young girls) and exploitation for monetary gain from the distribution of pornographic material online.

3. The consumers / accomplices

a. Children (as young as 8), Teenagers (43% of teenagers), youth and adults who watch, click, pay for porn online on the Internet.

 

b. Youth and middle-aged men who use the internet to groom and meet the victims for sex and satisfication of their lusts.

 

c. Youth and middle-aged men who use escort services and similar service which exploit the victims.

 


References:

1. Glasser et al (2000) The British Journal of Psychiatry (2001)179: 482-494