A city in southern Queensland is the first Australian city attempting to eradicate pornography from its streets, lanes and information superhighways.

The vast majority of pornographic material is accessed online, according to anti-porn campaigners Fight The New Drug. They say that 12 per cent of all internet websites are pornographic, 35 per cent of internet downloads have pornographic content, and every day there are 68 million search engine requests related to sex.

A City Free From Porn

Letitia Shelton, a Toowoomba local and the CEO of City Women Toowoomba, is worried about these statistics. She is spearheading a new movement called “A City Free From Porn,” which aims to raise awareness of the impact of porn on the mind and body.

“City Women does a lot of work with women and girls, particularly with the domestic violence issue,” says Shelton.

“In the last year, I became aware of the connection between domestic violence and porn. And then I heard stories of women being in relationships with porn-addicted men. So the stories were matching up with the statistics.”

“I believe every human being is valuable, but this is certainly not a religious campaign we are running.” – Letitia Shelton

Shelton approached the Mayor of Toowoomba, Paul Antonio, who is also passionate about fighting domestic violence, and together they launched the campaign. The campaign has support from anti-domestic violence group Toowoomba Together, two local members of parliament, the federal member of parliament, and the Chamber of Commerce.

While Shelton is a Christian, she is adamant this is not a religious campaign. “As a Christian I believe every human being is valuable, but this is certainly not a religious campaign we are running. There’s lots of research into this issue, and the evidence is there that porn is more damaging to the brain than cocaine.”

Launched in March this year, the campaign is focusing its efforts on raising awareness of the issue, and helping people to know more about how porn affects the brain.

“We started a support group for women who have husbands or partners addicted to porn.”

“We are helping people [addicted to porn] to get help and counselling,” says Shelton. “And we started a support group for women who have husbands or partners addicted to porn.”

One of the big challenges of this campaign is that porn addiction is usually done in secret, and can be very hard to bring out into the light. But Shelton compares it to the anti-smoking campaign, and is aiming to “begin to make [porn] socially unacceptable” by telling the stories of those who have suffered and then overcome addiction.

For those who are addicted to porn, Shelton says that the first step is to “start having the conversation. Be informed on what it’s doing to you and talk to each other.”

If you want to get involved in the campaign, head to the “City Free From Porn” Facebook page to find out more.

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Pray that people in Toowoomba will be educated about the perils of pornography.

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