As a member of your constituency, I want to understand where you stand on kids in Australia having unfettered access to online pornography and the consequential harms.
Personally, I am deeply concerned with the unfettered access children in Australia have to online pornography. Nationally there are no measures ensuring kids can’t access this adult content, yet offline it is illegal. Currently, the average age of exposure is 9, and by 13, 70% of boys and ⅓ of girls have seen it. As a result, children are trying to make sense of what they see, with a huge rise in a child on child sexual abuse being reported by sexual assault clinics. Along with our teens turning to it for their major source of sex and relationships education; our emergency centers have seen a huge rise in teen-related sexual injuries due to the violent nature of sexual acts depicted in the fantasy that is porn.
I invite you to carefully consider the Porn Harms Kids Report. This report, produced by an Australian registered charity (eChildhood.org), provides comprehensive opportunities to ensure the understanding of the huge scope of pornography’s negative impact on children and young people and how it is only getting worse and why we must take action now.
eChildhood have also compiled a Statement of Research relating to pornography harms to children. Endorsed globally by over 50 experts and organisations, empirically researched harms of pornography on children and young people include poor mental health; sexism and objectification; sexual aggression and violence; child-on-child sexual abuse; and shaping sexual behaviors.
Steps have already been taken to tackle this huge issue with the UK leading the way in ensuring kids are safe online as well as offline. How? by implementing Age Verification on all pornography websites in the UK, effective 15 July 2019. Facts about how it will work can be found here.
I stand with eChildhood and call for government responses that put the rights of our children in Australia to be protected online like they are offline.
I thank you for standing up for the children in Australia, and in advance for taking prompt action to address this important public health and child protection issue.
I look forward to hearing back from you to confirm your support, and how you plan on making decisions that will ensure our kids can have a safe childhood online in Australia too.