Think of a local business or organization in your neighbourhood that offers free public Wi-Fi. What comes to mind? Maybe it’s a favourite coffee shop, library or community centre. Somewhere you like to relax, get work done, or catch up with a friend.
Maybe you’d be surprised to learn that the fight against sexual exploitation includes educating places like these – and that people like you can help educate them!
Defend Dignity has recently launched its new Choose Change campaign, an annual initiative that focuses on creating safer online spaces by reducing the ease of access to sexual violent images. And this year we’ve added a new dimension: we’re going local! We want to help you inspire change in your local neighbourhood.
As communities re-open and we all venture into public spaces more frequently, Choose Change wants to equip people to have the important conversations about internet safety. Public Wi-Fi is widely available at the coffeeshop, the rec centre, the church lobby, and the library. Adult content is easily accessible on these free, open connections.
Porn is harmful for everyone, and especially for children. Their brains are not fully developed to process the images and implied messages of pornography. It can be traumatic for children to see these violent images. As well, porn-consumption fuels sexual exploitation of all kinds, including child-on-child sexual abuse which is becoming increasingly common.
Oftentimes businesses and organizations have not thought through all the possibilities and ramifications of offering a great customer service, free Wi-Fi. They may not have considered that people may use their free service in a harmful way. What if children are stumbling on porn through their connection or seeing porn on another customer’s connected device? Filtering adult content is not an infallible solution, but it is a tool to help protect the vulnerable in our community and enhance the public experience for everyone.
We know you care about your neighbourhood and community and want to address the dangers lurking on unfiltered internet connections. Would you like to speak to the business that popped into your mind a minute ago? Or is there another organization you would like to speak to about these concerns? Maybe you’re willing to talk to them about your concerns but aren’t sure what to say or how to communicate the message. Choose Change wants to equip you to have these conversations, and all the information you need can be found here. We are happy to help further–if you need additional information or want to chat about the issue, please reach out through the contact form.
We would love to hear about the conversations you are having. Use the email form on the Local page to let Choose Change know who you are reaching out to in your community. As well, there is a #choosechangelocal poster on the website and you can share a selfie on social media. We would also love to feature organizations that make changes on our Change Maker List. This list celebrates organizations who have or will pro-actively change policies and practices to reduce the ease of access to violent, sexually explicit images.
Arlene Stinson is the coordinator for the Choose Change campaign. Choose Change is an annual campaign of Defend Dignity. It focuses on reducing the ease of access to sexual violent images, pornography. Visit us at choosechangecanada.org and add your voice for a safer community.
#choosechangecanada #pornharms #choosechangelocal
Watch this short video to learn about all the organizations Choose Change is focusing on this year.