Christian-Based Group Helps Locals Battling Sex Addiction
According to the non-profit "Safe Families," about 47 percent of all American families admit pornography is a problem in their homes. (Photo: WBOC)
01/07/09 3:22 PM ET
SALISBURY, Md. - For one Eastern Shore native, who asked us to call him "Billy," logging on to the internet used to get him into big trouble.
"You're a couple of clicks away from a naked woman's body. You're in the comfort of your home. No one knows what you're doing. And you fall into it," Billy says.
Billy is a local school teacher, married father of two, an active churchgoer, and an admitted sex addict. Billy says he has battled an addiction to pornography, mainly internet porn, since he was a teenager.
Local advocates said he is not alone.
According to the non-profit "Safe Families," about 47 percent of all American families admit pornography is a problem in their homes. About 50 percent of Christian men said it was a problem that they currently battle. And more than half of all evangelical pastors reported viewing pornography.
Jim Phillis is Program Director for "Every Man's Battle." It is a national group that works to save men and women from the disease.
"The technology has made it possible for guys to get hooked so much faster," Phillis said. "Research has shown that in the past, when the primary vehicle was a print like a magazine, it might take somewhere along the lines of six months for an addiction, a compulsion to take hold. Now with internet and the delivery of materials so much faster, you're actually watching moving pictures, it can be as little as six weeks."
Phillis said the program started nearly nine years ago and includes self-help books, radio shows and even regional workshops. Phillis said it is all to provide a safe place for addicts to get help.
"The big problem we find is that guys are living in isolation from one another," Phillis added. "They're afraid they're going to get caught."
And Phillis said that is why a large number of wives call the program. Phillis said they are all looking for help for their husbands and they are desperate to save their marriages.
That is exactly what happened to Billy.
"It killed me," Billy said. "Because I have a great wife and I could see it in her eyes that it devastated her. Even though I wasn't cheating on her, to her and to god, looking at another naked woman's body is wrong."
In November 2007, Billy said he went to the workshop, a decision he said changed his life. Since then, he said he has set up a blocker on his TV and only logs on to the web when his wife is in the room.
Billy says it is a daily struggle; one that he hopes to beat, one day at a time.