33 Percent Of Children Access Porn On The Internet Before The Age Of 10

Did you know that 80% of kids aged between 14 and 16 access porn?

The internet is a wonderful source of information and has served to educate many of us, both young and old. But, unfortunately, it is also a free and easy method for our children to access inappropriate sexually explicit material at a very young age.

Whenever I read a comment or story from women who have young children and are struggling with the decision to stay or leave their porn addicted spouses, the first thought that comes to my mind is ‘What about the children’?

Many women stay in relationships with Sex Addicts in order to maintain the stability of the home. Unfortunately, if they are living with a Sex Addict who accesses porn on the computer, these children are highly at risk for permanent emotional damage.

Most children are much more computer savvy than their parents and will regularly (and innocently) experiment with settings and searches on the computer that you or I might never think of. Just think about it, if you discovered your spouse’s addiction by finding tracks on his computer or cell phone, don’t you think your children can find that same information?

I really didn’t mean to get on my soap box here, but I am genuinely concerned about children who live in homes where pornography is accessed on the computer. I feel that a firm boundary has to be immediately set, the computers scrubbed (this must be done by a computer techie or a computer service) and blocks with passwords known only to you put in place.

Teenage curiosity is one thing, but accidental exposure to hardcore porn at an early age can be emotionally devastating to a child.

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Responses

  1. Wow. Glad (in a sad kind of way) you put the article and your reflections about porn in front of us again.

    What can we say to women who get distracted by the shame or fear of separation, and keep these porn addicts at home with their children and teenagers?

    I truly know how devastating it is to face separation, sell a family home because there no longer is enough money to keep it going, go public about marriage problems in a very public job, have to deal with disappointed family members, downsize my lifestyle for one income, wrestle with all the jobs that fall back on me now, lose my companion, let my dreams go, and look ahead not knowing if it will ever better than it is right now as I write these words…BUT….

    I’m also a mother, and my FIRST obligation is to protect and provide for my children. Until my porn addict partner has a least a year of sobriety he doesn’t get back in my new downsized life. He has to earn the privilege of the safe home me and our children deserve.

    There is some tribal community somewhere in the world that I heard about at church. Apparently before they make any decision in the community, they ask “is it good for the children?” I know it’s hard to get over the unimaginable shock of discovering our partners sex addiction and how deeply we’ve been hurt and how much we have already lost— but as we think about what to do, we need to ask this question “is it good for the children?”.

    some days are really hard. I hope those days don’t make me too hard. But on this one, I think I’m pretty solid.

    good night fellow wounded ones,
    may healing come in the night,
    with dreams of grace,
    and the promise that what we’ve lost
    is kept somewhere,
    maybe in God,
    maybe in our children.
    And give us courage in the morning
    to honour that hope
    with choices that are good
    for the children.

    Diane.

  2. I haven’t been able to access the article (my computer freezes every time I try), but it’s probably just as well. I’d probably go into a rage if I read it.

    I’m currently caring for and counseling three children (2 nieces and a nephew, my sister’s kids) who were exposed to porn before age 10 because their father is a sex & porn addict. They didn’t seek it. They found it because their father already had it on the family’s PC. They found e-mails showing his affair with one child’s school teacher, an affair with another woman from their church, plus he had nude photos of yet another woman they knew (the wife of a friend of the family), nude photos of himself he was e-mailing to women, and links to all sorts of porn sites. These kids were UNDER 10, and the places kids are supposed to feel safe — school and church — were compromised along with their home by this porn addict. One time he forgot to log out and left his browser open before he left for work in the morning . He had viewed 18 porn sites before leaving for work for the day. Fortunately his wife found it before one of the kids did, but who knows if that ever happened and one of the kids DID find it?

    Kids are very tech savvy and are able to find things their parents thought were deleted (the son is especially good at this). The result is the 2 oldest children are very badly damaged (ages 20 and 21) and the youngest doesn’t talk much but is now watching the parents’ marriage disintegrate right in front of her (father openly in multiple affairs, mother in revenge affair). The 21-yr-old calls me crying about her mixed-up morals and her own relationship problems, the 20-yr-old absolutely hates his father and sent an e-mail telling him so (“Happy Father’s Day”), and the 10-yr-old refuses to see him (they are presently separated).

    He brought it on himself.

    I realize I got off topic with that, but just wanted to make the point that not all kids go looking for it. Sometimes their SA parent brings it into the home.

  3. Exactly the point, Caroline!

    Thank you for underlining the fact that children are likely to stumble onto the porn that the porn addict views in the home, and sometimes brings into the home. This is especially likely when the porn addict is in the “trance” mode while viewing, and doesn’t cover his tracks as well as he might.

    My stomach is still in knots over another mother who didn’t want to break up her family by asking the offending porn addict to leave (even temporarily) the house. It’s wonderful that she now has found a support group because she truly deserves it , and her husband is in a program—BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN???? They don’t have a support group. They don’t have a counselor. All they have are the images imprinted on their minds, and parents who seem more concerned with what other people might think, than the impact on the children. I hope that as these parents engage their therapeutic journey, they will see the wider impact of this family trauma. I do more than hope–I’m praying up a storm.

    I know it’s not fair that the mother is the one who has to take the lead and make the hard decisions, face the questions of friends, family, church members, colleagues, etc. There is nothing fair about what sex addicts do to their spouses and children. But we have to get our priorities straight here. What our children are exposed to in the area of pornography, and the message about that porn that parents give through their words and more importantly, their actions—these things will shape their souls and psyches in negative ways.

    Does anyone know of support groups and therapeutic programs for children living with a sex addict parent or family member? Maybe mothers and father just don’t know where to turn for help.

    Stay safe and keep the children safe.

  4. I started my son’s therapy with his own therapist 2 1/2 years ago because of all the turmoil his father’s sex addiction caused our family. It is a main concern in his therapy and his father (we are now divorced) is court ordered to attend therapy sessions with our son due to his addictions, spousal abuse, and abandonment….and all caused from his addiction to porn and affairs. He does not show for the therapy.
    You cannot hide the addicts problems. I have brought up in my son’s therapy the addiction and people (therapists and courts)listen. This is because they care about the children. But you have to have your proof. The addicts counseling records and proof from financial statements or whatever you have needs to be used.
    I was lucky enough to find a wonderful therapist who does realize the damage caused by being with a parent who is a SA. My son goes to see her every two weeks. My ex SA had a father who views porn too and treated his wife like a dog. He was a very likable person except he would treat his own wife so terribly. SA and abuse does follow in generations. I am doing everything possible to make sure it never becomes a part of my son’s life.
    I don’t want my son to grow up to be anything like his father who has ruined his life (and just about ruined ours).

  5. I found out my husband is a sex addict in February 2010. I had stumbled across porn over the years (maybe once a year, he was very good at covering his tracks). Due to a chain of events I realized that my husbands need for porn exceeded that which was what I viewed as normal as and more than I had ever expected. I like many other people had thought thatâ??s what men do, but to a certain point. I certainly never knew there was such a thing as porn or sex addiction. I was lied to since the day I met him, we have been married for 4 years, dated for 3. I have a 12 and 14 year old from a previous marriage and we have a 2.5 year old together.

    The initial impact of me finding his addiction was for him to seek counseling and he said that he would just “stop”. He resisted 12 step meetings and said that he would do it on his own (which we all know does not work). I had tried to believe him and allowed him the freedom to “try”. I did install a program on the computer which monitored his activity as I am not stupid. In May I found that he had been back at it. This was not the most traumatic part. The most traumatic part was that he did it early in the morning around 8 after I had left for work and viewed graphic images for over two hours two days in a row while he was watching the 2.5 year old. This broke my heart and I realized that he is truly not capable of choosing between right and wrong or for the well being of our daughter. Our computer is in our living room and we have a very small house. She plays in the living room and this is also where our TV is located. He likes to maintain that he minimized the screen, and I have the proof that he did not. Even faced with the cold hard facts of his addiction he continues to lie. (PS I did call Child protective services and they stated that unless there was neglect that this was not child abuse, but bad parenting)

    He was kicked out of the home and was allowed back in after he agreed and started attending 12 step programs. My daughter is now in daycare as I work full time and this is a huge relief. He no longer has access to our home computer as the passwords have been changed. But I do still worry about having him in the house. He is in his second attempt (about 45 days) but I am still at a cross roads of what to do. I keep asking myself “what about the kids?â?? Quit frankly I don’t want him in our house, I am trying to keep some sense of stability for the kids, but at what point do you draw the line? My older daughters are both aware of what is going on as we have told them. I have been trying to push them into counseling, and have not been to terribly successful. I go to counseling myself and am looking for an f2f meetings to attend, but do attend online COSA meetings at the present time. I don’t want a divorce at the present time, but don’t want to be dragged through every little mis-step or slip that he has, for me or my kids. Luckily we work split shifts, and he is gone most evenings, which are the highlight of my week. Sounds like many people have tried a separation.

    I am happy that I have a place to post this information. Everything in COSA is to reflect on yourself and not the addict. So you never really get to bounce this stuff off other people. This addiction is so isolating.

    Anybody have any advice….especially when kids involved?

  6. HI Flora,
    Really sorry to meet you under these circumstances, but also really glad you are reaching out. The isolation thing is so hard on us.

    First, give yourself a pat on the back for all the steps you’ve taken so far, and all the things you’ve realized are important for yourself and your children. And second, accept a big hug from me and lots of others here who know exactly how much it hurts, how much anger it generates, and how much we lose to his addiction.

    I am one of the women here who advocates for creating a safe environment for yourself and your children by living apart from the addict until you have some boundaries established and some evidence of his sobriety. That does not necessarily mean divorce. It means living apart until you have what need to ensure your sanity and the safety of your family from the damaging behaviour of the sex addict.

    The resource my husband and I used is called a healing separation agreement and you can find it by doing a search online. But this agreement really only works when you know you and your partner share basic values and are committed to sobriety and recovery. Otherwise you may need to see a lawyer to ensure the proper financial agreement for you and your children. A sex addict who is not yet fully conscious to his addiction and the destructive consequences of it is not a good candidate for a healing separation agreement. That’s my opinion only.

    I totally get your desire to not be around for his “slips” etc. My life has so many obligations and having a job is crucial to my own security. I can’t come home to more drama from him. And there is drama. The journey is rocky and lurching from step to step and then back a few. It’s been since September for me, and we’ve lived apart since January. My husband does his recovery program like another full time job, and he can still traumatize me without knowing it most of the time. It’s like he’s coming out of a coma or something.

    It takes a long long time to get sober, discover the original trauma underneath the addiction, start dealing with that, stay sober, and then change the way he relates to his wife because of all those things. I know I can’t live with him while he’s stumbling around in his half-coma pain.

    Flora, only you know what you can handle emotionally, mentally, physically and financially. Just don’t underestimate your need to be safe and your children’s right to be away from his crazy and his porn. if you have to ask friends and family for help. Do it.

    I wish you lots of light as you find your way.
    Diane.

  7. Thank You Diane. I know this is just the start on the journey. It is educational to learn how everyone is dealing with their situation and what works for them. What makes it so tough is that there is so much which is unkown. Alot of dealing with this addiction is uncharted waters as it is so new. Especially for the spouse or partner of the addict.

    Thank you for you support and your response. 🙂

    Fauna