February 1, 2016
A February Message from Donna Rice Hughes
We last chatted in 2015, so on behalf of myself and the EIE team: Happy New Year! Since the new year began, much has happened... Thanks to you, we finished the last year strong and are off to a great start!
I'd like to update you on some major movement accomplishments, upcoming events and some national headline news we have had the opportunity to weigh in on.
As you may have heard, the Utah state legislature committee passed a resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis. This unanimous decision shows the courage and conviction of a legislative body to deal with unpopular, and often misunderstood social justice issues such as pornography. We are now one step closer to an official resolution as the Utah legislature will be bringing this up for a formal vote soon. At a time when study upon study shows the devastating affects Internet porn has on children, women, men, the human brain and on the culture at large, there is absolutely no way that society can continue to turn a blind eye to its impact. You can read our official statement on this here and you can read our news coverage here.
In the News...
If you have watched the news at all the past two weeks, I am sure you have seen the two tragic news stories involving the misuse of the Kik app. Recently, Kik was used by a Prince George's County elementary school volunteer to take pictures and videos of children performing sex acts with each other. Kik also played a part in the recent abduction and murder of a thirteen year old girl in Blacksburg, Va.
Because of Kik's anonymity and its function as a platform to share as much information as possible, it is quickly becoming a tool that is exploited by online predators. Like all Internet technology, Kik can be used for good or evil. I was able to weigh in on this discussion - you can see my interview with Fox News DC here.
I was also contacted by NBC to weigh in on a disturbing sentence by a judge regarding a Brooklyn, NY man who faced 10 years for downloading child pornography and was instead sentenced to just five days. Child pornography is the recording of actual child sexual abuse and this unjust ruling only minimizes the traumatizing effects child porn has on the children it exploits, not to mention the effects it has on the viewer... fueling an ongoing cycle of abuse. This clueless ruling by this judge only confirms one thing: we must aggressively continue this fight to end child sexual exploitation.
Bottom line, parents and caring adults need to be ever vigilant about how your kids are using technology. I suggest parents pre-approve the apps you allow your kids to use and implement all of our safety guidelines on every Internet-enabled device used by your children. Please remember to visit our YouTube channel where we have over 30 short instructional videos (2 min. each) to equip you to keep your kids safe online.
Thank you for caring about our efforts to make the Internet safer for children and families and for your partnership, which is needed now more than ever. Will you commit to stand with us as we continue to wage on in the fight to end the Internet-initiated sexual child exploitation in our communities? Because of the nature of the Internet's global expansion, our work - your work - is needed now more than ever. Let's continue to make a positive impact on our culture together, shall we?
Yours in the Fight,
Donna Rice Hughes
President & CEO, Enough Is Enough®