by Kristen A. Jenson, MA
Empowering Families at UCAP
Los Angeles? Nope! Las Vegas? Nope! Salt Lake City? You guessed it!
Keynote with Ed Smart and daughter Elizabeth Smart
To kick it all off, Elizabeth Smart and her dad, Ed Smart, were the keynote speakers. Ed talked about his work with the Operation Underground Railroad and their efforts to rescue sex-trafficked children. He shared a sobering, time-lapse map which showed the buying and selling of child pornography in one 24-hour period. Kids who are abducted and trafficked are often used to make child pornography.
Ed also told about the night when Elizabeth was finally home. He and his wife, Lois, had planned that all the kids would sleep with them in their bedroom—to feel safe. But Elizabeth was determined to take back her life and she told her parents that she wanted to sleep in her own room that night. What courage!
When Elizabeth Smart spoke, she recounted some of her experiences of her abduction. But she also showed her humility by saying that even her situation was not as bad as other kids’ who are videotaped being raped. Elizabeth empathized with the thousands of kids who must deal with this horrible reality for the rest of their lives, even if they are miraculously rescued.
I know this sounds like a downer, but I loved hearing all about the projects the Smart family are supporting that will help kids all over the world. The Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which just merged with Operation Underground Railroad, helps sexually abused kids to heal and reintegrate into “normal” life after their rescue.
A 5-Step Plan
This year’s conference was so exciting and empowering. So much information, encouragement and hope! I felt privileged and honored to be invited to speak and present “A 5-Step Plan to Inoculate Kids Against the Pandemic of Porn.” (I’ll post the link when it’s available online.)
I’m not sure every speaker feels this way, but I was afraid that only a few attendees would trickle in! Ha! In reality, a large room (with chairs for 340 people) had standing room only, with many being turned away at the door (fire code). Does this say anything about my speaking ability? Absolutely not! It says that parents are desperate for strategies and resources to help prepare their kids to reject pornography.
And from the feedback I received, parents went away feeling empowered with solutions. (I always try to provide more solutions than questions!)
Parent Testimonials: New Videos
As I was preparing my presentation in the months ahead of UCAP, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if parents who are in the trenches with young kids could share their experiences using this advice I’m going to teach?” That thought led to a series of five short, insightful videos that I included in my presentation of parents doing just that!
And here’s one of them to encourage parents to get the conversation about pornography started.
If the video does not play go here.
Great Resources! Awesome Speakers and Reps
I also enjoyed meeting many of the other presenters and representatives from organizations committed to helping families prevent pornography addiction or find solutions for recovery.
- Dawn Hawkins of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation
- Deanna Lambson from White Ribbon Week
- Angela Page from Women for Decency
- Steven and Rhyll Croshaw from SALifeline
- Dr. Jennifer Brown from UCAP
- I was on a panel with Clay Olsen of Fight the New Drug and Dina Alexander of Educate and Empower Kids.
- Several wonderful women from The Togetherness Project
- Antonio Ramiriez from Breathe, one of the speakers from the new Spanish track (He was excited to know we are working to publish a Spanish language edition of Good Pictures Bad Pictures!)
- Mark Bell, a counselor from Psychological Counseling Services in Scottsdale, AZ. He does a lot of marriage counseling as well as individual porn addiction counseling. One of the books he recommended that I want to read is The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work by Terrence Real.
- Mark and Jerri Jorgensen from Desert Solace
- Polly and Jake Scott; Polly works for Addo Recovery and they both spoke on Jake’s recovery from porn addiction.
- Tony Rhoton from Utah Family Therapy. Tony was there with virtual reality goggles, showing how they use them to help in their treatment programs, but also warning how pornography could be taken to a whole new level of addictiveness with this technology.
- Companies providing filtering and accountability solutions, like PYUR
- and many, many others!
I’m looking forward to speaking at the UCAP in St. Georgefor Southern Utah and Nevada on September 19, 2015.
I truly love my job of providing resources for parents and speaking at events about how to inoculate kids against porn. We must do it and we CAN DO it!