When I was six years old, I was shown a porn magazine with page after page of graphic sexual images. The scenes swirled around in my mind and gave me a wrong idea about sexual behaviours, relationships and even myself.
I often wonder if things would have been different for me, if as a six year old, I had talked to a trusted adult and asked for help. At the time however, I thought that I would get into trouble if I talked with someone. I wasn’t even sure anyone would listen or understand. How very wrong I was. As it turns out, asking for help would have been the very best thing I could have done.
Fast forward to today and troubling images can be found just about everywhere – far more graphic and harmful than what I encountered. Unfortunately, children of all ages can now be potentially exposed to hardcore, graphic porn on the Internet at the click of a button – images that their eyes were never meant to see.
My hope is that mums, dads, teachers, carers and safe grown ups everywhere will become more aware of online dangers and the impact that unsafe images have on our children’s lives. And that parents would speak with their kids BEFORE they see internet porn, so that they have the skills to know how to respond.
Milly’s Message and Hamish and the Shadow Secret have been written to inspire and facilitate educated and healthy conversation about online pornography.
The goal – to empower kids to take charge of troubling images, teach them to listen to their inner voice that helps them make safer and more positive choices, and reach out and speak with a trusted adult.