Community Leaders Declare February ‘White Ribbon Against Pornography’ Month

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    By Jenna Morrison

    Pornography has been compared to a variety of drugs because of its addictive properties.

    The difference between the two, however, is illustrated when a user ends his or her addictive behavior. Once you leave a drug like cocaine, you can get the drug out of your system; pornographic images, however, are left in your brain forever, explained Cindy Moreno, the president of Communities for Decency.

    Governor Jon Huntsman and mayors of many Utah cities have declared the month of February to be White Ribbon Against Pornography month in Utah.

    ?Communities for Decency? is a statewide, non-profit organization that promotes standards of decency in communities and teaches children good values. The organization also strives to empower parents with the tools they need to talk to their children about the destructive effects of pornography.

    ?People don?t realize what is out there,? Moreno said. ?We aim to teach children and parents alike about the dangers of pornography.?

    Parents are not aware of how easily accessible pornography is, Moreno said. Children can get it on their cell phones, computers or while they are doing their homework on the Internet.

    In a study of 600 American males and females of junior-high-school age and above, 91 percent of the males and 82 percent of the females admitted having been exposed to X-rated, hard-core pornography, mostly occurring while doing homework, Moreno said.

    Communities for Decency has funded school assemblies where high school students go to elementary schools and teach children that it is alright to speak out when they see something inappropriate.

    ?Many children will see inappropriate images and feel yucky about it, but they won?t tell anyone about it,? Moreno said.

    The organization wants to teach children that it is important to pick good friends, to keep a clean mind and avoid bad images. Students often feel more comfortable talking about dangers they see with their peers, she said.

    An informational DVD was produced through a joint partnership with Communities for Decency and the Utah Coalition Against Pornography. ?The Great Lie – For All Faiths? DVD is now available at all high schools. The DVD specifically addresses concerns relating to adolescent exposure to pornography and its increasing affect on families.

    In order to involve students, Communities for Decency has created an opportunity for students to create an original art piece and slogan that illustrates the dangers of the Internet and or safety tips.

    Through this art piece, Communities for Decency hopes to educate and reduce the number of teens falling victim to the lies and entrapments found in dangerous places on the Internet.

    The winner of the art and slogan contest will have their artwork put on a billboard on I-15 for a month, as well as win $500.

    ?We had great response,? Moreno said. ?The information was great and the kids were very creative.?

    The judging is in process and the results will be announced in a press conference in the next couple of weeks.

    The organization?s Web site, www.communitiesfordecency.org, provides a free pornography packet that can be anonymously requested. This packet contains information about recovering from the addiction and provides help in the battle against pornography. It also contains books and a list of therapists and locations of group meetings, said Miki Grant, a board member of Communities for Decency and Therapist Liaison.

    ?We cannot take the issue of pornography lightly, it is poison. A little bit of poison is bad for you, just like a little bit of pornography is bad for you,? Moreno said.

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