Elder Establishes Organization to Educate Teens About Abstinence

Friday, 02 March 2012 21:04 Written by  Cicely V. Teal

In 2010, at one area high school in Memphis, TN, it was discovered that 86 girls were either pregnant or had given birth in that same year. In the beginning of 2011, Memphis launched a campaign entitled “No Baby!” in response to this huge spike in pregnancies at Frayser High School.

This campaign was designed to teach young boys and girls about pregnancy prevention and how to deal with unplanned pregnancy. The program aimed to give girls the confidence to “just say no” to sex which lead to a shroud of controversy. Abstinence and premarital sex are both divisive and controversial topics that leave a wide open space for varying opinions. There are advocates on both sides of the fence. Elder Nikki Washington makes no apologies for which side of the fence she stands on. She has built a ministry on teaching young women, through biblical principles, how to abstain from sex until marriage.

“Purity is a topic I hold dear to me,” says Nikki. “It was once a topic that I simply didn’t want to discuss. It wouldn’t be until I became an adult and would discover the power in my testimony [that] I would learn the importance of encouraging others through it.”

The Chastity Belt, a website and organization Nikki created, was born after she spoke at a youth conference and was able to speak to the teens in depth about not having sex before marriage.

“I was in a room full of about 500 children, yet there was one child who said they simply didn’t want to wait until marriage to have sex,” she explains. It was at that moment that I realized it wasn’t just enough to talk to kids about sex, but to address the culture that our children are currently living in. One conversation about sex simply isn’t enough to combat the images and pop culture influences the kids are facing on a daily basis.”

The Los Angeles--native first heard her calling when she was 19 years old living overseas. Nikki admits that she, at first, ignored the voice inside of her, but she believed that God was laying a path for her life.

In a society that is growing increasingly sexual in nature, there needs to be a group of people who will boldly profess that God is able to keep us, if we’d just allow Him to,” says Nikki.

There is an old saying that says, “If you talk the talk, walk the walk.” The organization’s creator is not only teaching young women to abstain from sex before marriage, but shares her own testimony of virginity.

“I pray that my own testimony will encourage others and subsequently [help young people] foster healthier, relationships within the body of Christ,” she comments.

Nikki’s unwavering advocacy certainly is not an easy road to travel, particularly with current statistics. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2009, “a total of 409,840 infants were born to 15−19 year olds, for a live birth rate of 39.1 per 1,000 women in this age group. Nearly two-thirds of births to women younger than age 18 and more than half of those among 18−19 year olds are unintended. The U.S. teen birth rate fell by more than one-third from 1991 through 2005, but then increased by 5 percent over two consecutive years.” According to a CNN report, the United Nations documents that, currently, the rate of teen pregnancy in the United States is nearly nine times higher than in the majority of other developed nations.

Nikki, who wrote Handle Your Business: A Practical Guide to Launching Vision and Pursuing Purpose, will continue being an advocate and is planning on writing book based on abstaining from sex until marriage.

This mindset is one that we have to be aware of so that we don’t fall victim to the, “well, everybody is doing it” mentality,” says Nikki. “Overcoming the pressures of sex is often a matter of mentally deciding that no matter what, we are going to abstain.”


Cicely V. Teal

Cicely V. Teal

Cicely V. Teal graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a B.A. in Communication and Depaul Univeristy with a M.A in Journalism. She contributed to and maintained a column at N’Digo Magapaper, and wrote for Urban Influence Magazine, Breaking Tweets, The DePaulia and The Independent. She also worked on documentary projects at WTTW channel 11, children’s television programming at WCIU-TV and African American programming at Central City Productions.

She is a blogger and studies web analytics, social networking strategies and integrated marketing at the University of Chicago.

She can be contacted at Cicely@glossmagazineonline.com