by Geoff Steurer, MS, LMFT
Founder and Director
LifeStar of St. George, Utah
The Washington Times recently reported that about 80% of children exposed to pornography actually encounter it in their own homes. Some may be frightened by this report, however, I choose to see it as an opportunity to better protect my children.
There is so much we can do as parents to protect our children from the impact of pornography. However, most parents don’t know where to start, or, worse, aren’t paying attention.
Our children are at great risk of being exposed to the fraudulent messages of pornography, which include sexual mis-education, violence, exaggerated body types, and other gross distortions.
We need both “high-tech” and “low-tech” solutions to these challenges. High-tech solutions include learning more about the ways children can electronically access pornography and how to stay on top of the ever-changing technological landscape.
Low-tech solutions include knowing how to teach children about healthy emotion regulation and how they can reach out for help when they are exposed to pornography and other harmful materials.
Parents need to know they’re not helpless and alone in the battle to protect their children.
Concerned citizens of Southern Utah have an opportunity next month to arm themselves with cutting-edge information from some of the field’s leading experts.
On Saturday, November 16, 2013, the Utah Coalition Against Pornography (UCAP) is hosting the conference “Protecting Children and Families from Pornography and Other Harmful Materials” at the Dixie Center in St. George from 9am-2pm (visit www.utahcoalition.org for more information).
This conference was held in St. George three years ago and drew a crowd of almost 1,000 attendees. The conference originated in Salt Lake City over 12 years ago and receives the support of multi-faith groups, major corporations, and other groups.
Not only will there be top-notch presentations, there will be vendors and other groups offering parents, church leaders, and other concerned community members the latest resources to protect children and families.
The conference will open with a keynote presentation by Clay Olson, the founder of “Fight the New Drug” (www.fightthenewdrug.org). There will be two hours of workshops to educate participants on how they can help support and protect children, how to help women who have been betrayed, and understanding what couples need to heal from the impact of pornography.
Terry Wade, a local attorney and church leader, will offer the closing keynote. A panel discussion will follow.
Every day I sit with individuals and couples reeling from the devastating effects pornography has on their lives. Most of the individuals I work with were exposed to pornography in their early teen years. Now that they understand the impact pornography has had on their lives, they are motivated to better protect their own families.
Be proactive and attend this conference so you can gather the latest tools and resources to protect those you love.