"Hooked on porn: Prepare for a tsunami of damaged people" (NZ Herald)

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Children as young as 9 are becoming hooked on online pornography leading to ­addiction, unhealthy relationships and rising levels of sexual abuse. It is the stark ­reality of a world with easy access to x-rated material on myriad digital devices and is setting a generation up for serious problems in later life. Experts say New Zealand is ill-prepared for treating the rising numbers of boys and sometimes girls needing help and that we need to prepare for a "tsunami" of damaged young people.

Richie Hardcore recalls watching his first pornographic video when he was 10. He saw it with a group of older kids at his mate's house and he has never forgotten the impact.

"It was an incredibly powerful and exciting thing," he says. "I didn't really understand what was going on but I liked it." Now 36, Hardcore is an anti-sexual violence campaigner who admits his early glimpses of porn set him on a rocky path.

"By my early 20s I knew something wasn't right about the amount of stuff I was viewing. I began to think it was unhealthy. It was influencing my sexual tastes and what I saw as being appealing."

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