Conference organisers Blanka Magdic and Ivan Munjin with Mary Sharpe, Nataša Ropret, Haley Halverson and Darryl Mead

Croatia tackles porn

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It is the country where the original neck tie, the cravat, was invented. Indeed all the public statues were sporting red ribbon versions to celebrate International Necktie Day on 18 October whilst we were there. Croatia is a country with a rich cultural background- a confluence of Austro-Hungarian, oriental and Slavic influences. As part of the former Yugoslavia, it still retains elements of its Communist past too. Today, as a modern country within the EU and NATO, it faces the same issues with internet pornography as anywhere else. Culturally it is a Catholic country so the role of the family has a high priority in society and politics.

The Reward Foundation was delighted to take part in a public conference with a wide range of international experts about the impact of pornography on the family. The conference was called Family and School – the Key to Freedom from Addiction. The programme is here.

It was organised by a leading Croatian NGO “In the Name of the Family”, with the support of the Croatian Government. The 2-day conference took place in the capital Zagreb on 20-21 October 2017.

In the main session attended by 120 people, Darryl Mead provided an Introduction to the pornography industry. Mary Sharpe then followed with a presentation on The impact of Internet pornography on the adolescent brain. Other speakers were Haley Halverson from the National Centre on Sexual Exploitation in Washington D.C. and the Slovenian sexual therapist Nataša Ropret.   There was a remarkable agreement between all four speakers on the potential for internet pornography to cause a wide variety of harms when used in a recreational context.

In the afternoon The Reward Foundation presented two workshops on Internet pornography: What parents, teachers and healthcare professionals need to know.  The workshops were attended by about 40 individuals from Croatia and several other Balkan countries.

Mary and Darryl were both interviewed by local journalists and stories (in Croatian) can be found here and here.  More detailed stories are expected to be published in the next few days.

Stejpan Radic statue in Zagreb wearing a neck tie

Stejpan Radic statue in Zagreb wearing a neck tie

Statues in a park in Zagreb wearing ties

Statues in a park in Zagreb wearing ties

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