Jared Fogle, famous as the weight-loss pitchman for Subway restaurants was recently convicted for buying and selling child pornography and soliciting sex with minors. Hundreds of other people, not so famous are regularly caught, convicted and jailed for sexual crimes. The stories are often front page news but what about the victims? Their stories are seldom told in a way that helps us understand the pain and trauma of being a victim of something that usually starts with pornography.
Here is one such story of a victim and what they experienced.
“We were married three years before I found the first Playboy magazine in his car. I asked for an explanation and he said, ‘I like the articles. If it upsets you I won’t do it again.’ We were going regularly to church so I believed him but I was crushed. I found more Playboy material at his work but of course they belonged to one of the other guys. I was a Christian and I promised to take him for better or worse but I felt so alone.”
Pornography in its entire hideous array represents a grave threat to everything that is good about our society. You do not have to actively seek pornography to be exposed to its dangers. Magazines wrapped in cellophane adorn book stores. Commercials on late night television entice you to buy a video or call a telephone service. E-mail messages advertising porn are daily occurrences. Millions are accessing pornographic websites regularly.
“After 13 years of hearing, ‘I am sorry and I promise not to do it again.’ After years of trying to do things that might keep his attention, like sexy lingerie, hair changes, diets. I could not take it anymore. I told him it was over with us. He broke down and cried and confessed stuff to me that I did not even ask for. He said he started at twelve looking at material belonging to his father. He said it was like a vise squeezing his head until he had to look at the pictures. He even said that he would go to a counselor. You must know how awful I was feeling. What was wrong with me?”
Aaron Best author of ‘Pornography on the Internet,’ writes: “Studies done at Stanford University have revealed that over 200,000 Americans are seriously addicted to online pornography. Statistics also reveal that the word “sex” is far and away the number one search term on the internet.”
“I really did not want to have anything to do with him as a wife but I tried again. I felt like I died inside. My walk with God went down. I went through the motions. I never stopped praying and reading the Bible and never stopped going to church. But something was missing.”
Who are the victims? They are all around you: Boys and girls who have lost their innocence, wives who have lost their husbands, women treated with disrespect, young women trapped in an industry that exploits them, young men exposed to a false image of sexuality and men who simply can’t stop.
“Then the computer came into the house. I started finding a nude picture here and there. He often did not come to bed until 2 or 3 a.m. I knew what was going on but could not prove it. I had a friend help me find his sites on the web. He was in porn chat rooms, teen porn, couples together, homosexual porn and other websites too awful to name. I was outraged. This truly was the end of the marriage. To quote a passage, ‘I could almost feel the wind blow through the hole where my heart used to be.’”
Dr. Hart in his book, “The Sexual Man” offers help for those who want to break the pornography habit:
• Be honest and acknowledge that you have a problem.
• Tell someone else about your addiction and be accountable.
• Dispose of all your pornography immediately.
• Don’t be too hard on yourself when you fail. Be patient. It will take time.
• Pray continuously and rely on God for strength.
“I was near my 63rd birthday when the breakup came. I was starting all over again just like when I got out of high school. I found comfort in Psalm 91 where it talks about covering you with His feathers. I literally imagined God with great big wings tucking me under just like a mother hen protecting her chicks. I was afraid often and would have to run under those wings for comfort. One friend took me out to eat and we talked and laughed for hours. That was the breaking point for my recovery. Proverbs 17:22 says ‘that a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.’ I had a big dose of medicine that night.”
You can make a difference in the war against pornography by:
• Pray for those involved and their families. Ask God: What can I do to help?
• Encourage your church, your schools and your civic organizations to speak out against the dangers of pornography.
• Encourage local businesses to stop distributing pornographic magazines or videos.
• Install a porn-blocking program on your computer so children won’t be tempted.
• Provide or recommend support groups for victims of pornography.
“I did not always handle things right. If I had only known then what I have since learned about porn addiction? Maybe it would have helped and maybe not. No looking back. I need to look ahead and try to learn from mistakes made. Years have gone by and my goal is to start a support group for women like me. I want to help others get through their pain.”
A Victims Whisper
Once you’ve heard my story
Can you feel the pain?
Must I walk this cold, dark path?
Silenced by the shame?
Who will take a stand for me?
To say I’m not alone?
Who will take the pain I’ve felt,
And let the cost be known?
Author Amber Smith – VictimsofPornography.org
Our special thanks to Milly Katze who had the courage to share her story with our readers.
For more information: Victims of Pornography at www.victimsofpornography.org