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PETITION – SAY NO TO ONLINE PORN

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On September 7, 2016, Posted by , In Causes, Tags ,

For background information, scroll down or visit our Cause page.

Sign the petition against online pornography

I support the submissions made by CFJ to the effect that:

1.“Revenge porn”, child pornography and depictions of sexual assault of children must be criminalised;

2.The online distribution of *pornography must not be legalised. Specifically, the “XX” (disallowed) classification must not be watered down.

*Pornography is a specific form of adult content, which violates the human dignity of its characters in that human beings are portrayed as objects (exploited) for purposes of sexual stimulation, without presenting characters truly as human beings with value in and of themselves.

3.Online distribution of all other forms of adult content should not be legalised without putting in place protective measures to safeguard individuals and the public at large against the harms associated with exposure to adult content. This would require an in depth and comprehensive investigation/enquiry into the effects of pornography on viewers, actors, intimate partner relationships, family stability and society at large.

(Please fill in the required boxes below in order to sign the petition.)

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Watch this 3 minute video clip on the parliamentary debate regarding the link between pornography and sexual violence.

Background information

From June 2017, Parliament will debate and consider in detail the proposals made in the Films and Publications Amendment Bill, which amongst other things proposes legalising and decriminalising online distribution of pornography to internet users.

What has happened so far?

Prior to the oral submissions, CFJ made written submissions to Parliament on 26 May 2016 on certain troubling aspects of the Bill. Up to now, South African law has provided that adult content may only be legally distributed/broadcast and accessed/viewed inside a licensed adult premises, such as Adult World.

CFJ presented oral submissions to Parliament on 30 August 2016. You can view our presentation here.

Why does this matter?

Whereas CFJ welcomes the proposed measures in respect of criminalising “revenge porn”, child pornography and depictions of sexual assault of children and prohibiting the exposure of children to adult content, we raised the following grave concerns:

  1. Pornography, a specific form of adult content, violates the human dignity of its characters in that human beings are portrayed as objects (exploited) for purposes of sexual stimulation, without presenting characters truly as human beings, with value in and of themselves. The online distribution of this type of adult content should not be legalised.
  2. Scientific research shows that there are serious harms associated with exposure to adult content, even soft-core forms, including harm to viewers (both adults and adolescents), harm to viewers’ intimate partners and family relationships and harms to vulnerable groups, e.g. women and children, who most often end up being victims of sexually violent crimes.

For closer inspection of the research evidence, view our previous blog here.

How to put a STOP to this: Petitioning Government

This new call to sign the petition is a continuation of the petition that ran last year at the end of August as part of the parliamentary participation process. You can participate and make a difference by signing the petition above, to be handed to the SA Media Industry and the Minister of Communications.

Numbers matter in a democracy – your voice can be the difference!

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