FortSafety

OUR STORY

Story of Fort Safety

FORT SAFETY IS A DREAM THAT BECAME A REALITY

HOW WE GOT STARTED...INSPIRED BY A LITTLE PRINCESS

Fort Safety is a dream that became a reality…

…a dream that a father could honor the short and courageous life of his daughter, while planting hope where there is fear, while giving courage where there is anxiety,  and providing light where there is only darkness.

The idea for Fort Safety was forged during an emotional time in John Winstanley’s life:


The first was death of his  7 year old daughter Laura after a long and courageous battle with Mitochondrial disease (click here to find out more about this devastating illness). Life dealt her a tough assignment.  Laura was born prematurely at 28 weeks gestation and she weighed just over 1 pound.  She never let life get her down. Unable to talk or walk, she never gave up, always smiling and laughing.

On the day of her funeral, the church was packed with her family, friends, doctors, teachers, school bus drivers, therapists, nurses, and fellow school friends, who were there to honor a little girl that had changed their life.

John realized that day, that if his daughter could change so many people’s lives without ever saying a word…why couldn’t he do the same with a voice, and with a story.

That story was the second part of how Fortsafety became to be. In his life John Winstanley had been a victim of bullying, abuse, depression, hatred, loss of hope, and an addiction that almost cost him everything. Like everybody else he had buried those pieces of himself deep down inside, never wanting them to see the light of day. But inspired by Laura’s legacy, he realized he need  to share those stories with others so that maybe they would be inspired to get help or tell their own story. 

Finally, the third keystone in the creation story of FortSafety was the growing frustration that John felt (and which fortsafety’s  Board of Directors shares): a frustration of watching children, teenagers, young adults, and marriages fall victim to the damages caused vile content and bad habits on the internet….and NOBODY at that time was talking about, or doing anything about it. 

What damages am I talking about? Here is a summary of a few:

Bullying
We can thank the internet for pouring gasoline on an issue we all have had experience with: bullying. It's no longer 2 or 3 kids bullying someone...it's thousands. One mean comment is shared online again and again, and our children think they have no way to escape the torment. Suicide rates have doubled in the last 3 years due to cyberbullying.  68 % of teenagers agree that bullying online is a serious problem. 
Gaming Addiction
Although it is not yet recognized by the American Medical Association as a diagnosable disorder, video game addiction is a very real problem for many people. According to the University of New Mexico, recent studies suggest that 6 to 15 percent of all gamers exhibit signs that could be characterized as addiction. Though this disorder can have significant consequences to those suffering from it, its signs and symptoms can sometimes be very difficult to recognize.
Online Predators
8,000 men,women, or children start looking at porn every SECOND on Google.  The average reported age of first exposure to porn is 11...but we all know it is a lot lower than that. Kids are given smartphones with no filters and are exposed to the most disturbing content imaginable. Over half of divorces in the U.S. mention porn as one of the reasons for the breakup. 
Pornography
8,000 men,women, or children start looking at porn every SECOND on Google.  The average reported age of first exposure to porn is 11...but we all know it is a lot lower than that. Kids are given smartphones with no filters and are exposed to the most disturbing content imaginable. Over half of divorces in the U.S. mention porn as one of the reasons for the breakup. 
Online Grooming
Grooming is befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, and sometimes the family, to lower the child's inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse...and access to chat rooms, online games, and social media has given predators easy access to our kids.  Sextortion is bypassing the grooming and simply forcing the child to perform sex acts by coercion and threats. A large portion of sex trafficking victims are the victims of sextortion.
Child Sex Trafficking / Sextortion
8,000 men,women, or children start looking at porn every SECOND on Google.  The average reported age of first exposure to porn is 11...but we all know it is a lot lower than that. Kids are given smartphones with no filters and are exposed to the most disturbing content imaginable. Over half of divorces in the U.S. mention porn as one of the reasons for the breakup. 
Sexting
There isn't a middle or high school in this country that isn't  trying to grapple with the legal and moral consequences of children sharing explicit photos and videos of themselves online.  In most jurisdictions it is considered child pornography and can get the child and the parents in a lot of trouble.
Social Media Addiction
There is a reason why there is a federal law in place, requiring our kids to be at least 13 before they are given access to social media: having strangers from all over the world give you compliments, likes, follows, hearts, whatever is intoxicating and addictive...and intoxicated people make bad decisions.  Most kids don't have the maturity to handle social media without some kind of guidance or training. 
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sOME OF OUR RAVING FANS:

FortSafety is bravely talking about topics no one wants to talk about but every family is affected by. It’s a conversation I wish we didn’t need to have, but it is essential if we want to protect the hearts, minds and bodies of our kids. FortSafety informs, equips, and empowers parents to create an internet safety plan that enables them us to protect our children and youth.

Kim McDevitt

Fort Safety is boldly part of leading the way to end the demand side of the sex industry. Reality is most ministries in this field invest in the victim to reach and restore. The truth is, rescuing a victim does not end the demand for human trafficking and sexual exploitation there will be a free individual who takes the place of the rescued girl or boy. To truly end sex trafficking, we must address the sexual perversion running rampant in our culture. A deadly drug with little stopping the use. This addictions tentacles reach our schools, churches, and homes. It is not going away. Thank you Fort Safety for offering hope for those struggling with porn addiction, educating those who do not understand what is happening and going after those not yet

Nan Konze

You were quite a blessing yesterday. I am actually from the Columbus area and almost didn’t come because “it didn’t relate to our preschool children”. HA! Was I wrong, and the entire time I was also thinking as a grandmother of 6 (oldest granddaughter aged 10 – yeah, I know – that scary age). I was mesmerized by your presentation and awakened to so much. I have already discussed the information with two of our teachers this morning. Thank you again for your honesty and your conviction to make a difference. You have!