‘Whispered in the dark’ conference aims to help fight porn

Detroit, Mich., Nov 9, 2018 / 06:00 pm (CNA).- An all-day conference will be hosted in southeast Michigan to expose the problem of pornography and promote resources for those seeking help.

The event will include religious leaders and other professionals, who will share knowledge and experience on pornography addiction. The conference will also share resources, including books and local services, among them an anonymous support group for sex addicts.

Patty Breen, an event organizer and a pastoral associate at Saint Michael the Archangel Parish in Livonia, Michigan, told CNA the goal of the conference is to empower the participants.

“We just want people to feel empowered and to give them tools and resources, and for them to feel less alone in how to navigate this because I think, unfortunately, there is a lot of shame still attached to sexuality and especially this topic,” she said.

“We just want to have a loving, pastoral, honest conversation in a way that affirms people and supports them, but gives them hope, gives them resources, gives them tools.”

Called “Whispered in the Dark,” the conference will take place on Nov. 10. Organized by Breen, Danielle Center, and Naomi Vrazo, Breen said the conference is the product of women who’ve experience the harm of pornography first-hand.

A Certified Sex Addiction Therapist will present the statistics behind pornography addiction – explaining pornography’s chemical effect on the brain, and the body.

“We have a priest coming to speak about the spiritual impact of addiction and how it affects how we see ourselves, the shames that goes with this a lot of the time, what is the impact of addiction in spiritual life,” Breen said.

During the conference, some speakers will personally share the damages pornography has wrought in their life.

Nick Jorgensen will share the story of his recovery from porn addiction. A married couple, Beth and Steve, will share discuss the impact of pornography on their relationship. Breen will discuss the harmful effects of porn on her marriage.

Breen said she found out about her spouse’s addictive habit less than a year after their marriage began, and the couple immediately sought counseling. She said the struggle ultimately tore the couple apart but she wants other women in similar situations to have the resources they need.

“I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, didn’t know where to find help, and I was lucky in our diocese to find resources,” she said. “I just don’t want other Catholic women to feel alone and isolated if they find themselves in a similar situation.”

Breen said she wants to make resources available to those helping those fighting pornography addiction.

“We are frustrated to see the lack of resources, the lack of help, the lack of people talking about it in the Church,” she said.

“I hate that this exists and I hate that we live in a culture that promotes it…because I thinks it’s the greatest killer of a healthy relationship,” she added.  

 

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