Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling on government to address the pornography epidemic and the exploitative over-sexualization of children.
In a release on Monday evening, she said that pornography addiction is the fastest-growing addiction in the world and it has become a silent epidemic for adults and children.
Persad-Bissessar noted that sexually overt behaviour targeted at children has become normalized because hypersexualized influencers and advertisers now determine social values.
“To compound this over-sexualization of children, there is an epidemic of pornographic addiction affecting both children and adults. I, therefore, call on the Government, civil society, TATT, the Media Association, and any willing stakeholder to come together with the UNC to begin discussions on social, legislative, and educational interventions to address the pornography epidemic and the exploitative over-sexualization of children,” she said.
“In light of recent media reports of over 2,000 cases of sexual abuse of girls and 500 cases of sexual abuse of boys being made to the Children’s Authority between 2020 and 2021, I am compelled to speak on this issue.”
Persad-Bissessar said the increase in sexual abuse in our society over the past decade has many reasons. “Still, two of the main concerns are the over-sexualization of children by adults and the pornography epidemic.”
“The innocence of childhood is being destroyed with an overload of sexual content being made available to children. Over-sexualized content is directed at children as young as five years old through video games, television shows, cartoons, movies, advertisements, and social media.
Individuals are also exposing children to sexually charged conversations, innuendo, music, dancing, and behaviours. It is not uncommon to see adults engaging in sexually suggestive and inappropriate behaviours in public or private events in the presence of teenagers and children.”
“Trinidad and Tobago is under siege from a myriad of crime issues. We cannot reduce sexual crimes without publicly acknowledging the driving factors behind them, even if it is an uncomfortable discussion.”