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12-year-old shares how he got addicted to porn at 9, and how he got over it

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

June 11, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- A boy who is now 12 is sharing his story about how he got addicted to pornography after coming across a porn magazine at his local paper recycling depot when he was 8-and-a-half years, and how he overcame it.

Joseph Deschambault and his mother Tasha appeared recently on The Bridgehead radio program with Jonathon Van Maren of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Tasha explained that her older children had had trouble with porn on the internet so this was not a new issue in their home.

"We had done everything we could to try to protect Joe - we had passwords and safety codes and filters," but Joseph was still able to access porn online, she said.

Joseph said he was dropping off their recycling when he came across a magazine on the ground and his curiosity led him to examine it. But when he did, he said his reaction was confused between thinking "this is awesome," and "I can't believe I'm looking at this."

He then found out how easy it is to find porn online. "You can type in 'snowman' and get something bad or exposed to pornography," Joseph said. "The internet is so unsafe that you never know what's going to happen when you put your kids on the internet."

Joseph said he knew he was addicted to porn by the time he was about 9, saying he felt like he needed it, had a craving for it. But when he was looking at porn he said he felt anger, rage, and began developing a hatred of women.

Tasha related that she found out her son, then about nine-and-a-half, was looking at porn at home on his computer when a scan of his searches revealed the sites he had visited.

Tasha said she and her husband asked their son if there was something he wanted to tell them. "He broke down and said he was really sorry," she recalled, "and he was crying, and my husband and I were just bawling right along with him. And from there we began the long journey trying to undo the damage that was done."

To tackle the problem and begin to heal their son of the consequences of what he had been exposed to, Tasha said they immediately put new passwords on all their computers and disconnected Joseph's computer from the internet altogether, which proved to be a challenge because they homeschool and much of the course work is done online.

"The other thing we did was keep the lines of communication open with him, and so for at least a year, what Joseph would do was any time he felt like he was being tempted, he would come and get us and he would say things like 'mom you need to be praying harder for me, I'm really struggling right now,' or at night he would sit and have a conversation with us and he would say 'today was a hard day,' or 'today was a good day, I made it through the day,' so we spent at least a full year checking in with him every day."

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Tasha said the next step was to help Joseph come to an understanding of what porn really is, so that, knowing that porn actors are really very broken men and women, and that many of them are victims of human trafficking or forced into the porn industry, this information would help him stop being tempted by porn.

Joseph said he now always has his dad or someone older with him when he's online. He added that he and his dad and a group of friends have begun a study course called Setting the Captives Free. "It's really helping," he said. "I like the study and I definitely recommend it for people who have been struggling with porn. It's definitely helping."

Van Maren asked both Tasha and Joseph what measures would be most effective in stopping kids being exposed to porn.

Tasha said that they have tried every type of porn filtering software, finding that none of them are totally foolproof ways of protecting children.

She said the only strategy that works is for children to never be allowed to use computers without an older and responsible sibling or an adult present with them at all times.

She added that beyond this, "we need to take a stand as parents, and as Christians, and as a society, and say 'This is enough.' We have hyper-sexualized our children, we have hyper-sexualized culture, and it's going to take a revolution … an outcry from the grassroots to say it's time that we start protecting our kids, and acknowledging that there is a problem."

Joseph said that children who see porn should be open about what they've experienced. "With this problem, the longer you keep it a secret, the worse it gets. You have to tell somebody," he said. "Not so much so they can tattle on you … but so they can help you. It's really helpful to have someone to talk to. You have to get it out so it doesn't rot you from the inside.”

Tasha concluded that the way forward in the fight against porn is "for parents to be parents, to take responsibility and to be having conversations with their kids," and that everyone should stress the importance of dealing with the porn epidemic, not only within their families, but in their communities and their churches.

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