After terrorism, the overwhelming issue for the police, says Alice Thomson, is the “extraordinary rise in child sexual abuse”. The police now spend £1bn a year investigating child sex offence allegations: Met police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe “has pulled in officers from murder squads and now has a team of 1,150 working on sexual offences”. And what seems undeniable (albeit unprovable) is that this is linked to the ubiquity of hardcore porn. Once confined to the newsagent’s top shelf, it’s now instantly available – to children and to adults – at the click of a button. One site alone, Pornhub, says its videos were watched 87 billion times in 2015 – the equivalent of “12 videos per person globally”. Really nasty stuff is just a few clicks away. Everyone is affected, from children (20% of prosecutions involve peer-on-peer crime between children under 18) to old people (prisons are having to modify cells with orthopaedic beds to cope with the influx of geriatric abusers). This is a societal crisis: society at large must now face up to it rather than leaving it all to the police.
Naturism remains tainted today by misunderstandings in the minds of the public. Naturists are all too aware that many fail to view naturism as non-sexual. There is no direct link between child sexual abuse and naturism of course, but in the minds of some this link may be made.
I hope I’m wrong and what is patently clear is that we must continue to educate the general public by any means possible to our rights and lifestyle:
- Support naturist organisations and open publications – in UK: BN, NAG, H&E
- Support your local swims and clubs and encourage others to join in
- Openly get involved with other naturists: events, clubs, beaches, swims, home visits, dinner parties
- Open up to social media. Respond to relevant articles and submit fresh contributions to appropriate media
- Join open groups – closed groups don’t get the message out well
- Let your family, friends and colleagues know your views. Let people you meet know your views on naturism too (this is not necessarily the same as telling everyone you are a naturist – but this is even better). No need to force the conversation but take every opportunity to stateyour case as it arises.
- Resist all implications, however vague, that naturism is a sexual activity
This is from a UK perspective but the same applies in all enlightened countries. YNA is setting the standards in USA with increased public exposure.