Dr. Val Farmer
Rural Mental Health & Family Relationships

"I Can't Erase Those Images From My Brain"

October 7, 2002

Here are more excerpts from responses sent by readers on unsolicited pornographic e-mails.

"I absolutely refuse to have the Internet in our home! There is no way I’m going to take any chance that my family may be subjected to that Internet garbage! Why can’t the porn be available for an extra fee, like it is with cable TV. Satellite dishes, etc. We shouldn’t have to pay extra to have that garbage blocked! Someone should have to pay extra to get access to porn! I’ve fought to protect my children from this for so long. I need help!

"When a child sees something like that - even for a split second - it will leave a lasting and traumatic impression. It’s possible an "abuse" like that will deter their lives. Please, please, please do something to keep my children safe from pornography! I will be forever grateful!"

"As a former adult basic education instructor and computer lab coordinator, I found many students offended by porn coming in with their e-mail. Additionally, we were horrified to find that some porn graphics were saved on hard drives without students’ control. It’s difficult to erase those images from my brain; I wonder how imbedded the images are in young people’s brains."

"Anything that can be done to curb this garbage has my support. I worry about my young grandsons who often access my computer."

"I continue to receive offensive items in spite of demanding cancellation of such solicitation. Part of the problem in removing the offensive material is that one of the devices used by the pornographers is to use different e-mail addresses making it almost impossible to block them on a computer. It would be in the best interest of all if such mail could be blocked based on a domain name by such names as .sex, .xxx, or porn. The porn industry should also not be allowed to do mass mailings of e- addresses that they generate.

"As a mother and as a minister I am offended that such material can be allowed to be freely distributed. Exposure, even briefly and innocently, of children to such material is a perversion of a relationship that should be treated as sacred instead of as an exhibition for entertainment and self-gratification.

"Open toleration of the pornography industry is not freedom of speech, but exploitation of the victims who are forced or tricked into participation. Pornography is not a victimless situation, for everyone is affected."

"It is time to regulate the Internet. We have written to our Senators, the FBI, and the Attorney General and Governor of our state. Good luck with stopping this garbage and the slimy predators who ruin lives."

"I am SO TIRED of deleting the MANY e-mails that are on the screen when we go online. I am embarrassed if my grandchildren happen to be watching me get online and lately I have had to have them stay away from the computer until I delete everything. What a HORRID mass of JUNK!!! I thought our e-mail carrier was at fault, so I chatted with friends comparing what they receive to ours. I discovered that pornographic messages seem to run rampant. How pathetic!! Hopefully, there will be some laws that can handle this horrible problem."

"I concur - there is far too much pornographic e-mail and it is too intrusive into areas it has no place to be. I have been an avid porn watcher and probably still am, but recognize there is a time and place for everything. I believe there should be a means to limit the access to those sites like a .sex, .porn, or .... or something that will shut them out to all that don't actively seek to watch it¼It is pervasive and like the cockroach very hard to get rid of.

"There has been a great decrease in kiddie porn, I am sure a way can be found to limit this adult material too, to those that demand that kind of 'entertainment'.

"Please keep hammering away at this theme of fighting unwanted pornography. It just takes some people longer than others to get the message and work toward ridding the Internet of it."

"I work in a public school, and all the students want to have a "hot mail" e-mail address, in addition to their school-provided e-mail address. My daughter, who is now an adult, has a "hot mail" address. On the average, she receives 60 "porn" e-mails each day. She blocks what she can, but this is unwanted junk. I know that the kids in school get the same messages. It's nothing that they subscribe to, it's just there. Parents need to be aware of what hot mail is like. And someone needs to deal with places like hot mail, so that they aren't allowed to make mass mailings of porn sites."