Does abstinence prevent violence and poverty? Those are the controversial claims of Kim Wilson, the founder of the Loretta Johnson Global Abstinence program, which encourages African American and Latina girls to practice abstinence.
“70% of black kids are born outside of wedlock. We are dealing with kids that aren’t receiving a lot of attention from parents and a lot of them turn to crime. They turn to violence, prostitution, sex trafficking,” Wilson said. “Right now HIV/AIDS is the number one killer of of Black women 25-35. With over 70% of Black kids being raised by single moms, we have Black children who have no one who really wants to take care of them and typically the fathers are not there.”
Wilson says these kids turn to violence, crime and sex trafficking and that if more mothers delayed premarital sex and childbirth it would have a positive impact on their future children, and that those children would be less likely to commit violent crimes.
So systemic racism and institutional policies don’t have anything to do with the problems in poverty-stricken neighborhoods? Would abstinence resolve those far-reaching challenges?
“It not so much that abstinence will overcome those issues completely because those are issues that people have regardless but what it does do is give Black people the chance to rise above those things. If you have a two-parent home for Black children and the mother and father are providing, they are getting the discipline they need and the education and so forth and because the parents are watching them closer, they won’t have time to get into trouble.”
Although teen pregnancy is down, Wilson believes that abstinence is a practice that will solve many community ills, including sex trafficking, which thrives on vulnerable young people.
“You’ve got to begin very early telling girls to start practicing abstinence,” Wilson says. “I was taught to keep my legs crossed and that it was the girl’s responsibility to do that and not the man’s because the girl are in much better control of their futures when they keep their legs crossed. The organization that we have is Christian-based and we teach them that premarital sex is a sin, based on the word of God.”
Wilson has been ministering in this vein for 20 years and is now operating on three continents. She says that her teachings “Experiencing God’s Best For Your Life” through abstinence, reach about 10,000 girls per month and train others to expand the ministry of abstinence.
“The Lord really put this in my heart when I was a young girl. Loretta Johnson is my late mother and she was a real committed woman of God and she was there for single mothers to help them make ends meet and get bette jobs and education and she did this with her own money. And I’m really carrying on that legacy. And there’s such a need for it, probably even more than when she was alive.”
Wilson also has a book The Abstinence Book For Women and Girls geared toward Black women. You can find out more about Wilson’s upcoming free Atlanta conference HERE.
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