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New initiative sheds light on pornography's impact on families

DMC launches 'Out in the Light: women uniting against pornography'

Published: Sunday, Sept. 19 2010 1:19 a.m. MDT

Christina Anderson was shattered by the discovery of her husband's porn addiction.

Sarah A. Miller, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — A 36-year-old woman looked at the bright stars outside her Sandy home and wondered what she should do. Her husband's words burned in her mind. Pornography. Infidelity. Prostitution.

She was surprised, but didn't know why. The behavior had defined their almost 16-year marriage. Still, she had missed the red flags.

As a new bride, she had expected a fairy tale. Instead, her family — which ultimately included five children — had traveled a road to "extreme unhappiness."

She felt inadequate. He blamed his problems on her. She focused on the children. He withdrew from all of them.

Now she knew one thing: "I was vulnerable."

She went inside, walked into their bedroom alone and locked the door.

The next morning he left.

It was six months before he moved back home. It was longer before she could look him in the eyes.

"I am still sickened by how deep and dark it had become," she said.

'Out in the Light'

The story of her marriage and her husband's addiction to pornography, which she and other women agreed to share anonymously in this article, is replayed in homes across the United States.

Today, 47 percent of families in the United States report that pornography is a problem in their home, according to the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families, an Ohio-based nonprofit organization working to promote Christian values.

It is no surprise, considering the breadth and reach of pornography; according to Enough is Enough — a Virginia-based nonprofit organization formed in 1994 with aims to make the Internet safer for children and families — worldwide pornography revenue is estimated to be more than $97 billion dollars with $13 billion of that spent in the United States. The porn industry in the U.S. rakes in more money than ABC, NBC and CBS combined. Every second, 28,258 viewers are watching pornography and 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines. Every 39 minutes, a new pornographic video is made in the United States, according to Enough is Enough.

This week Deseret Media Companies — Deseret News, KSL-TV, KSL Newsradio, Deseret Digital and Deseret Book — are rolling out an initiative to educate, direct and unite women whose husbands have a problem with pornography. Through the initiative — titled "Out in the Light: women uniting against pornography" — Deseret Media Companies will combine resources to shed light on this problem that is impacting families.

In addition to the series of articles that will run in this week's Deseret News, a new website — www.outinthelight.com — and reports on KSL-TV and KSLNewsradio will tell the stories of the silent victims of pornography: the wives of consumers.

'I felt worthless'

An Oregon woman remembers reading an article in her university's student newspaper about men who compulsively view pornography. "Why would a woman marry a man like that?" she asked herself.

Back then, pornography seemed like a problem that impacted other families.

But it wasn't.

When she and her husband moved into a new apartment with unfiltered Internet access, he immediately resumed his habits from his teens. Later, he confessed.

"I had no clue of the depth or breadth or scope of the problem," she said. "I assumed that was the end of it."

But when they moved to a different state to attend graduate school, it persisted. Instead of doing graduate research, he spent hours and hours on the computer viewing pornography.

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