Eros Association: Aboriginal Porn Bans 'Divisive'

Tod Hunter
DEAKIN WEST, Australian Capital Territory — Eros, Australia’s national adult retail association, has called the ban on hardcore porn enacted a year ago in the heavily-Aboriginal Northern Territories divisive.

Eros CEO Fiona Patten said that after a year, the bans on sexually explicit but nonviolent adult material could not be shown to have done anything to stop the sexual abuse of children and simply stood as yet another issue dividing Aboriginal Australians from the rest of the community.

“With the benefit of hindsight, these bans now simply say that Europeans can handle depictions of nonviolent, explicit sex, but indigenous Australians can’t," Patten said. "It’s an insult and is not sustainable through any verifiable procedure or inquiry.

"Instead of banning legitimate forms of entertainment, the government should now be implementing the recommendations of the Little Children Report [on child abuse in Aboriginal areas] with regard to pornography. These were to provide communities with education about sexual images and how the classification scheme works and start strictly enforcing the Northern Territories' laws that make it illegal to show minors R- or X-rated films."

Patten said that Eros initially committed to support the bans as long as the Northern Territories introduced regulations for the sale of adult films, similar to the Capital Territories. Possession of adult films is legal nationwide, but the sale of adult films is legal only in the Northern Territories and Capital Territory.

“For four years Eros had been writing to state and federal authorities, warning them of the existence of organized crime gangs using Darwin post office boxes to sell highly illegal pornography into the Aboriginal communities, but we were ignored. Without a licensing scheme in place, in the Northern Territories and in other states of Australia, crime gangs will continue to sell illegal and pirated pornography which will end up on Aboriginal communities.”

More than $1 million is spent annually educating Australians about film classifications, but none goes to Aboriginal communities, according to Eros. With satellite dishes bringing in R-rated erotica and organized crime gangs selling banned pornography from Darwin, the Aboriginal communities could not have known what was suitable for adults, what was suitable for children or what was not suitable for anyone.

Eros has advocated uniform rules for porn sales throughout Australia.