World Cup South Africa: 13 June 2010 – Podcast Day 3

While US and England fans in South Africa enjoy the country, few are aware that American-made pornography has been stripping children of their innocence and creating a generation of sex addicts, fueling the alarming levels of domestic violence, rape and child sexual abuse.  While children are clearly at risk in public spaces during the games, South African children have been exposed to American pornography within the safety of their homes. Since 2001 ETV, a public television channel which was originally 60% Warner Bros owned, has broadcast adult pornography on free to air television, with complete disregard for the dissent of the public, academics, parents or practitioners. From the US, where the same pornography is only available through pay-per view cable channels and not public television, Nadine Naidoo crosses to Clive Human of Standing Together to Oppose Pornography (STOP) in Cape Town.

Clive and Michelle Human - Founding Directors of STOP

Listen to Podcast 3: Nadine Naidoo interviews Clive Human of Standing Together to Oppose Pornography (STOP)

Credits: Producer, Nadine Naidoo | Sound Engineer, Arooj Aftab | Transcriber, Swetha Kolluri

Nadine: Sexual exploitation and the harm that it causes is the type of crime where bringing the criminal to book does little to help the victim. You’ve been through this experience, you’ve come through it and now you are helping others. From your experience as a child who was exposed to pornography and what that did to your life, talk to us a little bit about this journey of being an innocent child, being exposed to becoming an addict, to having to fight with this in adult life…

Clive: Yeah, Nadine. I was molested as a pre-schooler; I must have been 4 years old by a pedophile in the neighborhood where I was born in. I was also exposed to pornography at about 11-12 years of age when I went to boarding school. I was brought up in a very loving family, no problems etc. But this actually sexualized me at a very young age to conceptualize what the real meaning of love and all that was in relationships. I grew up objectifying women, seeing them purely as sex objects and I thought all guys thought like that. I also took this into high school and when I left school as well, when I used to travel overseas whether on sports tours, rugby tours or to go surfing or business trips, I would always smuggle back magazine or video on those days, sweating through customs to bring it back in to be one of the guys. I’ve tried introducing it into my relationship with my life – I thought it was a normal thing and she really hated it from the word go. So I thought it was no big deal and decided to look at it with my group of friends as a form of entertainment. Little did I know the damage it was doing not only to me as an individual but also to my relationship with my wife. And it was in the early 90s when my wife became a reborn Christian and went to church and came back. And with a few like minded people when pornography was decriminaziled in SA they formed this organization called STOP (Standing Together to Oppose Pornography) because we were worried what our children might see in the corner cafes and in the shops. We didn’t want them to be exposed to this stuff so that’s how STOP got off the ground. A few years later I used to help her, she used to go around and give talks; I didn’t get involved in any way. I used to sit in the back of the hall and drive her around and drop her off where she was giving a talk – educational talk about pornography and the effects of pornography etc. And it’s only after sitting there a few times listening to what she was saying when I realized that I was in fact in the early stages of pornography addiction. I then realized that I needed help. Through this time with help and with counseling more than anything else I want my marriage to work. I don’t want this to be another statistic in any way but we got through it and I used to then accompany her and say a few words at these talks – say a few things about what it did to me and us. There were a lot of guys who would talk to me because they couldn’t talk to my wife. They would share their problems. I then realized the need for a support groups for us guys to sit together and talk openly and discuss the issues, for their victims, wives or spouses; group therapy was required as well. So that got off the ground and I have been running accountability support group for the last 10 years in Cape Town and we’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of men being set free from the bondage of pornography addiction. We were talking about child pornography and you wonder why or how a guy one day wakes up and sees a 3 or a 5 year old girl as a sexual object. He doesn’t just wake up one morning and decide that that child is a sexual object, it’s been a progression. And often it started off being soft-core pornography – men’s magazines – the ‘lad’s mags’ as they call them and it progresses on to more hardcore pornography and through this progression it can end up that you start molesting children. So the people must be aware of this connection where the acting out stage of looking at pornography, where you start picking up prostitutes, hookers and visiting strip clubs – all this is ‘acting out’. It doesn’t happen overnight; this has been a progression. People don’t realize that once it gets deep into you to a slippery slope right into prison.

Nadine: Absolutely. Thank you for sharing that, Clive. It is evident that when one has gone through the process one is able to walk in the skin of those that we’re trying to help.

We met in 2007 when VIA and STOP standing together to oppose pornography were 2 of the few organizations that were able to make a representation at the parliamentary public hearing of the FBP bill. It’s been 3 years of toiling and struggling to get that bill passed and last year when it was finally signed off by the President it was a bit of a blow to find that the provision that we were hoping for was still not there. How did you feel?

Clive: We were disappointed as well, Nadine. That bill did give us some power but as a watered down bill we were very disappointed. The government is starting to realize the damages and effects of sexually explicit material  in the media, pornography – whether it’s on cell phones or internet etc is creating so many problems for so many families, so many individuals,  so many relationships that they are seriously looking at doing something about it.

Nadine: Clive, we had more than enough evidence to support the constitutionality of the bill and yet the FPB itself and the minister were very silent. Don’t you feel that it was actually in their hands and they let it slip through?

Clive: And they still do it to this day, unfortunately. There are few organizations that deal in this area where it seems the tail wags the dog rather than the other way round. They don’t seem to have whether it’s the will or the manpower, I don’t know. It is very disappointing because we’ve just had a case now where a wrestling coach who was teaching kids how to wrestle was found with a huge stash of child pornography, really bad child pornography- child abuse pictures on his computer etc. And this was the guy that the community trusted with their children to help them and strengthen them with their wrestling skills and he was found to have such a lot of child pornography and the judge ruled guilty and gave him 5 years of suspended sentence like a slap on the wrist – it’s so disappointing.

Nadine: How many of your clients or those that you are trying to support, the victims have found that internet and mobile technology has made it more difficult to wean oneself off of pornography addiction?

Clive: It’s a major problem because of the easy accessibility, with a click of a mouse or push of a button on the cell phone. I would like to say that 80-85% of the guys that are struggling – it’s because of these things. They don’t have stashes of these things; they don’t go out and buy the stuff. It is because of the availability of this content on the systems makes it very easy. It’s like a drug addict living in the same house as his pusher. Sometimes in that bad moment or bad place, or whatever the trigger or reason is and say ‘to hell with it, I am just going to do it’ on their journey to recovery from the illness just setting them back.

Nadine: The age of the sex addict in SA, do you find that it’s been younger and younger?

Clive: Unfortunately, we are finding that because of the sexualization of the kids, they are trying to simulate sex even at pre-schools. Kids are copying what they see. In my support group I’ve had guys from their late teens up to men in their 70s. It’s because their kids have gone overseas or working somewhere else. So they have been given computers or laptops to mainly keep in contact with them mainly through emails etc and after a while they start scratching around to find this and that and before you know, you can be on that slippery slope down and never know until it’s too late.

Nadine: I gave a small talk in Los Angeles and challenged media professionals and humanitarian activist workers there, sharing with them our story, questioning why is it that American pornography is being broad casted in South African television since 2001. It is not the case even here in America. American pornography is not broadcast on public television. It is available on cable but only pay per view. So parents still have the ability to control what their children are watching – jaws literally drop. And many of them are looking to see how they can support us in removing this pornography from television. What in your experience of working with the victims has been the percentage of individuals whose first exposure was through pornography on our public television in the last 10 years?

Clive: Well many of them use it to just fuel their desires. The pornography that we are showing on national public open broadcasts is soft core pornography. But still, it’s that soft core pornography which triggers and makes the people more inquisitive. It varies from one individual to another ho long they watch this. I’ve got phone calls from women who say that their husbands force them to watch this with them. They are uncomfortable doing it but they want them to watch it with them and then they emulate and copy those acts that they watch. It creates major problems in their relationship.

Nadine: Apart from the soft core pornography that’s going to be there talk to us a little bit about the advertising that’s going to play between those programs.

Clive: Advertising is the biggest or the largest buck for us. Because on channels like ETV where they are pumping out adverts like – SMS the word ‘sex’ to this number or SMS ‘porn’ to this number and get free downloads to your cell phone. They do give a warning for only over 18. But if you are over 18 – push this key on your cell phone. That’s just absolutely does not verify anything. That’s almost like prostitution. They advertising all these variations of what you can have – and that is what is offered on national television.  The broadcasters say its past the water shed – it’s only after midnight to 5 in the morning. But still, what about DVD players, video recorders – these are destructive as well.

Nadine: As you look at the World Cup – we have another 28 days to go, how do you see the impact of the world Cup on one hand the sex industry – those that we can see who are benefiting commercially, how does that impact our women and children and our society?

Clive: Well, unfortunately there has been a huge spike in the number of people caught trafficking people, coming in from across the borders from Mozambique, Angola and Zimbabwe with promises of work at the World Cup where they need workers, baby sitters, waitresses, ushers and other jobs so they get them down here and then they give them drugs and they are put into brothels. It’s a major problem. Just the other day a brothel was raided just outside the center of Cape Town where a 17 year old girl was found. She thought she was coming for a job as a baby sitter – and here she is. Luckily she hadn’t been abused – they managed to find her just in time. But that’s just one of many cases. In another case they shut down a brothel just outside Cape Town where they found 17 Thai girls who didn’t have passports – they were all taken away. In the newspapers they look up and they see these numbers; tourists are arriving, they are renting local cell phones and these numbers are being used to advertise in newspapers. The newspapers this way are getting many more advertising hits for adult entertainment etc. Guys come at you – you might be just a normal innocent house wife or someone’s daughter walking to the shop – it’s like feeding frenzy out there! Especially later at night, after the late soccer games, pubs were closing etc – it’s not a nice feeling at all for the women and children, for the individuals. And I really do believe this is being fueled by the sex industry by these women standing at the street corners, brothels – and they are all illegal. Prostitution is still illegal in this country and yet they advertise it in the local newspapers and television.

Nadine: Clive, thank you for sharing with us today and we’ll be in touch with you again.

To join our digital and human network of Visionaries In Africa visit us on http://www.volunteer.co.za – helping us capture the social impact of the World Cup in Africa and helping score one goal for Africa’s women and children.


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