abuse culture

If We Get Love Wrong, We Get Life Wrong

6:00:00 AMClarissa Sutter


Last week I attended the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Summit with over 400 people from 30 states and 7 countries. We gathered to learn, network, and discuss the seamless connections between all forms of sexual exploitation.


Naomi August.jpeg
The packed days were eye opening and emotionally taxing, but I left Houston with a burning fire. I have been inspired to join the movement to defend dignity.  
One of the most striking experiences from the week was the personal friendship that formed between my roommate and I. She is a rape survivor, former porn star, and brothel owner. With a bubbly personality and a determined spirit, she explained that she’s been free for over three years. She devotes a majority of her time speaking about her experience and the successful aftercare of Refuge for Women.
In a short video produced by Fight the New Drug she recounts, “I remember hating when clients would say love you Angela.  I’m like please anything but that. You can do anything to my body, but not say that you love me. Love was a word that messed me up big time.” (2)
Why did the word love have such a strong affect on her?


According to St. Thomas Aquinas, love means to will the good of another and is an affirmation of one’s personhood.  “A person is an entity of a sort to which the only proper and adequate way to relate is love.” (3) My friend knew deep down that the sexual acts she received weren’t love, and that’s why she hated the word.
“Being in love always implies a respectful, chivalrous attitude
toward the beloved – a certain element of humility even,
a melting of the soul, of the rigidity of the ego.” (4)
How can one let such injustice take place? The sex industry is degrading the human body and spirit: a reduction, perversion, and abasement.  
It makes my blood boil knowing that such injustice is taking place. My anger is justified and necessary. Sexual exploitation is one of the most vile things to which a human being can be submitted, and yet it is legal and glorified by many. I am often numb to my own emotion, and struggle to properly respond to the emotions of my friends. However, this injustice fuels a flame within me. It makes my heart race and I can’t ignore it.
It enrages me know that the dignity of men and women is being defiled. My heart is wounded for these victims whose lives are destroyed.


Worthless. Broken. Screwed up. Helpless. Trashy. Desperate.

Ashim D'Silva.jpeg
It is a disgrace that evil can trap someone within their own mind, making them feel and believe such lies.
The truth is, there is hope for the desolate and healing for the brokenhearted.
I want to fight for justice, fight for these victims, fight for the people who make us uncomfortable, who make us uneasy. I want to fight against a culture that glorifies sexual promiscuity and stand against sexual exploitation.


It’s so easy to ignore sexual exploitation because it is the logical outcome of our oversexualized culture.  But, if we truly admit the evil of sexual exploitation, then we have to challenge our own blindness. The gentle acceptance of degrading talk, suggestive clothing, sexually explicit music, and movies with nudity and sexual humor all contribute to the injustice.


What are you listening to? What are you watching? What are you wearing?


If you want to watch a movie with nudity or violence, VidAngel allows you to filter it out for just $1. If you’d like to set up internet accountability or filter out adult content to safeguard children then check out CovenantEyes. Are you or a friend struggling with a pornography addiction?  The Fortify Program is a free online video-based recovery program. I recommended it to my friend who has been free from her addiction for over one year!

This issue is messy and full of setbacks, but it’s necessary and the reward is eternal.


“There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo,
and it’s worth fighting for.” (6)



(2) Jessica’s Story: My Life As A Porn Star, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk23mL15qpA
(3) Karol Wojtyla, Love & Responsibility, 41.
(4) Dietrich von Hildebrand, Marriage: the Mystery of Faithful Love, 17.
(5) Image Two
(6) J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers.

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4 comments

  1. A great piece of thoughtful observation. As I read this, I am in Cambodia working with Don and Bridget Brewster of AIM. They have given there lives for the rescue and rehabilitation of girls that have been robbed of their lives and firced into the sex trade; some as young as five and six years old. Thanks to people like the Brewsters and Clarissa for fighting the good fight, but it takes all of us to win the war.

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    1. Gene--thank you for your insight. You truly are a witness to the light.

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  2. So, so well written. Brava and God bless and multiply all your efforts.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. You and your husband are doing amazing work! We cannot win this war alone. Keep fighting the good fight!

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