We believe that every child in Australia deserves a porn free childhood
Our vision is to build a connected community where all stakeholders are equipped to deal with the challenges posed by young people having unrestricted access to online pornography. We hope for our children and young people to have increased capacity for protective behaviours, critical thinking skills and healthy relationships and access to online spaces conducive to safe and positive experiences.
eChildhood provides a voice for our children and young people, who stand defenceless against potential lifelong detrimental effects from access to online pornography.
Children in Australia currently have unfettered access to hardcore pornography 24/7.
Researched harms include poor mental health; sexism and objectification; sexual aggression and violence; child-on-child sexual abuse; and shaping sexual behaviours.
There are just over 5 million children in Australia under the age of 14 years, and the heartbreaking truth is that most of them will see violent depictions of sex online before they’ve even had their first kiss.
eChildhood is a registered health promotion charity dedicated to mobilising responses that reduce the harmful effects of pornography on children and young people.
- We take a public health approach through implementing digital, legislative and education solutions across Australia and New Zealand.
- We unlock silos, activate research and empower key stakeholders to build collaborative responses.
- We foster awareness and provide education and training to parents, professionals and the public.
- We advocate for measures that improve children and young people’s mental and physical health outcomes, and decrease vulnerabilities to exploitation.
- As a global thought leader, we collaborate, influence and consult internationally as a part of a worldwide movement addressing the harms of pornography on children and young people.
OUR PRINCIPAL ACTIVITY
The principal activity of eChildhood as a health promotion charity is to ‘promote the prevention or control’ of disease(s). This term is used in a broad sense and includes mental, emotional and physical health impacts. Prevention of access to pornography is a vital component of reducing the incidence of harms upon children and young people.
eChildhood was formerly known as Porn Harms Kids and navigated a transition period of name change throughout February/March 2018.
Our organisation gained charity status January 16, 2017 and is managed by a passionate, dedicated and collaborative volunteer board. Since inception, the charity produced two key documents that have contributed to the importance of having this National conversation - the Statement of Research Relating to Pornography Harms to Children, and The Porn Harms Kids Report: Protecting our kids from online pornography harms is everyone’s business. The charity has also formed strong relationships with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner; other community organisations, researchers and key stakeholders; and is positioned to contribute child safety perspectives related to pornography harms to both The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, and The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
eChildhood has appointed Board Member Tamara Newlands as Executive Director to carry out the day to day operations and management of the charity. In this role Tamara builds key relationships, nationally and internationally, and champions the work of eChildhood to ensure the ongoing viability of the charity. In consultation and with support of the volunteer Board Members and Expert Advisors, Tamara is initiating a well-considered strategy involving Digital, Legislative, Education and Therapeutic Solutions, aimed at improving children and young people’s mental and physical health outcomes, decreasing vulnerabilities to exploitation related to pornography harms, and increasing child protection measures.
WHAT WE DO
eChildhood addresses the harms of children and young people accessing online pornography by promoting interventions that protect children and young people from developing porn-related problems.
eChildhood has adopted a public health approach to inform a three-pronged framework. Each prong is supported by the implementation of legislation and policy, technology, education and therapeutic solutions.
PREVENT by reducing access through a range of ‘Digital Child Protection Buffers’. These include home filters and device apps; ISP level blocks; age-verification processes; mobile device restrictions; and safe public WiFi.
EQUIP through education and provision of a ‘clearinghouse’ to other providers. In its broadest sense, education for every sphere of community, including government and non-government organisations; allied health professionals and community leaders; parents, teens and children; schools and universities; cultural and spiritual meeting places; and sporting groups.
RESTORE by advocating for increased restorative justice processes, therapy and support services, and linking to those services. When a young person is exposed to harmful online content, they may need additional support. eChildhood has identified that there is a lack of resources, specialists and services to support families who are faced with managing emotional and mental distress and behaviours related to the harms of pornography.
Using this three-pronged framework, we work collaboratively and engage diverse stakeholders to raise awareness of the harms of pornography on children and young people. Responses include:
Investigate and action all avenues to limit access of pornographic content by children and young people.
Advocate on behalf of children and young people to respond to the harms of online pornography with parents, Government Departments, Internet Service Providers and peak bodies.
Promote education that supports protective behaviours, healthy child and youth sexual development and equitable relationships.
Network with and link to counselling related and health support services.
Create awareness amongst community and parents and providing proactive ways to respond.
We aim to create lasting and positive change in communities and families impacted by children and young people accessing online pornography.
eChildhood has a clear strategy with 8 key objectives:
eChildhood is a thriving and sustainable organisation
eChildhood is bringing the conversation out of the shadows
eChildhood harnesses support for digital and technology solutions
eChildhood influences legislation and policy solutions
eChildhood provides and promotes education solutions
eChildhood recommends and facilitates research solutions
eChildhood expands initiatives into New Zealand
- eChildhood builds a sustainable Duel National Coalition
Each of the objectives are undertaken within a collaborative approach, aligned to the key stakeholders involved, and support measures that improve children and young people’s mental and physical health outcomes, and decrease vulnerabilities to exploitation. Funding is sourced for identified solutions within education, technology, legislation and research.
INFORMING OUR WORK
Seven key points were raised at our groundbreaking Australia-first symposium Pornography and Harms to Children and Young People held at UNSW on Feb 9 2016. This symposium inspired the establishment of eChildhood as a registered health promotion charity, and the resulting seven key points underpin our work.
Exposure of children and young people to pornography in Australia has reached critical levels.*
This is having widespread and measurable negative consequences on the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of children and young people.*
This constitutes a public health crisis, and as such is a concern for the community as a whole.
This crisis has not received adequate public attention, and needs to be publicised as widely as possible as a matter of urgency.
More extensive research should be conducted in Australia to fully explore and document the extent of this crisis.
All avenues must be pursued to explore possible solutions to this crisis, including education, voluntary efforts by relevant industries, and regulation ("Mass media… should not promote material that could harm children", UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 17).
As part of its duty of care to children, the federal government must take the lead in addressing this crisis comprehensively ("Governments should protect [children] from violence, abuse and neglect", UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 19).
CLICK HERE for information about eChildhood in New Zealand.