February is supposed to be a month in which people commemorate romantic love, but this month we’ve spoken to an inordinate number of women who have experienced rape. One was 13 when she snuck out of the house for a midnight walk along a trail and was attacked by a stranger. Another was tied up and blindfolded by her boyfriend so he could watch his friend assault her while her infant cried in the next room. A third woman cried out for help from her cousin as that cousin walked away, leaving as her boyfriend forced himself on her cousin.
How have we arrived here?! One in six women in the US has experienced sexual violence, and 69% of all victims are women between the ages of 12-34¹. Hundreds of thousands of videos are available online under the headings of “Rape Porn” or “Girls under 18”.
If you can buy it, you can steal it.
Interviews with incarcerated rapists show a common theme: pornography fueled a normalization of violence towards women and children². Pornography twisted minds, obsessions were fed and strengthened until restraint, abstinence, awareness of the humanity of others, were allowed to die. Respect for the inherent dignity of each person is easily discarded when one is immersed in abuse and degradation. With pornography so accessible and approved by so many, it’s no wonder the purchase of sexual material leads to a forcible theft of sexual material.
What can we do?
Pray, first and foremost. Without a return to authentic morality, the faux compassion of “tolerance” will lead us further into the darkness of moral relativism, which insists that if you want it, you can have it. Next, we must begin to have this conversation in the public sphere. It will be difficult, no one will want to discuss this. But without open and honest communication, who will know? How will the violence end, if no one explains the connection?
Please, use the folowing resources to further understand this topic, and share what you’ve learned with others.