By Brandon Showalter , CP Reporter
October 20, 2016|1:47 pm

no porn icon

As part of a campaign to combat violence against women, city leaders and Christian ministries in Toowoomba, Australia, are working together to create a city that is free from porn.

The effort is being led by the Christian ministry organization City Women of Toowoomba and the city's Mayor Paul Antonio is backing the initiative.

Even though City Women Chief Executive Letitia Shelton said that an actual porn-free city "sounds very ambitious and unlikely," according to Huffington Post Australia, she believes that curbing its negative influences is achievable

"But look at the anti-smoking campaign, there has been a huge reduction in smoking," Shelton said. "You'll never stop it, but you can show people the impacts it has on your life."

"Eighty-eight percent of porn displays violence against women, such as choking or gagging," Shelton said. "We're hearing more stories from women porn-addicted partners, where there has been a direct result of abuse from that."

At a gathering of approximately 250 people, mostly men, last Tuesday at a public park to launch the campaign, several speakers shared their stories about how their lives were negatively impacted by pornography. Pledge cards with the heading "A City Free from Porn" were passed around and participants were invited to read:

"I acknowledge that viewing pornography promotes the 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 from porn."

Antonio, who also spoke at the gathering, said he would likely hear negative comments about this effort, but added: "we must begin a journey with one step. I think what we've focused on today is the real value of proper relationships. Pornography has no place in that."

Porn Viewer(Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter)

John Minz, chairman of Toowoomba Together, a local organization that raises awareness about domestic violence issues, described pornography that leads to domestic violence as a "social cancer," local station ABC News reported last week.

"Most quality research points to stereotypical gender-specific belief systems that reinforce a dominance and power over a female member of a relationship. ... Politicians and police are doing what they can in relation to drugs and alcohol, but who is taking responsibility in relation to pornography? The answer is no one," Minz added.

And the cultural backlash is not just happening in the land Down Under.

In the United States, in light of the ample evidence showing the public health disaster resulting from excessive porn use and the social pathologies that accompany it, even liberal secularists are speaking out against porn.

In a July 16 New York Times op-ed titled "It's O.K., Liberal Parents, You Can Freak Out About Porn," contributing columnist Judith Shulevitz wrote that concern ought not be limited to religious conservatives.

"Left-leaning parents shy away from a cause they identify with right-wing culture warriors, but I challenge any parent to affirm that it's O.K. for her kids to become digital porn consumers at 11, the average age of a child's first encounter," Shulevitz said.

Family Research Council's Arina Grossu said in an interview with The Christian Post last month that "porn's highly addictive nature is just one of many detrimental effects that give it the deserved description as a public health crisis."

"In MRI and other brain scans, the brains of compulsive pornography users look just like the brains of alcoholics and drug addicts, showing the same reward centers (ventral striatum) lighting up ... those who choose to ignore the actual science, evidenced by MRI and other brain scans, want to trade out reality for a 'porn-defending' ideology, because the reality is inconvenient," she concluded.

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