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Guess Who's Behind the Lens of Child Porn?

child-on-computerBy it’s very nature, the idea behind child pornography is chilling. So how does it get worse?

When statistics come out that point the finger for child porn straight at parents. In a Tampa Bay-based story about a series of parents arrested on child porn charges came this demoralizing statistic:

“Nearly twice as many children in a nationwide child-porn database were photographed by their parents as were victims of online enticement. The number victimized by parents was nearly seven times that of children exploited by strangers.”

And this as numbers of child porn-related offenses increase. According to the U.S Department of Justice, the main sex-related offense to the U.S. attorney’s office moved from sex abuse in 1994 to child pornography in 2006 (when child porn represented sixty-nine percent of all sex-related cases). The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children puts the number of child porn images being posted on the Internet at 20,000 per week.

So pinning most of the blame on parents makes sense: children are most readily available to their parents, so the debasement of kids would naturally come at their hands first.

Except it doesn’t make sense at all – at least not from most parents’ perspectives. Sexually-based offenses, as they say at the beginning of every Law and Order: SVU, are particularly heinous.

Child abuse figures – all disgusting – are loaded with degrees. The slap on the face. The leaving of welts. The landing in hospital.There is no excuse, but there is no way to lump them all together.

Not so with child pornography.

Once you instruct your child to remove their clothes in front of you for a purpose other than giving them a bath or checking them for ticks (or any of the other NORMAL reasons a parent might look at their child unclothed, sans camera), you’ve handed your child a life of sexual and trust issues. Victims of child porn – especially those abused by parents – are more likely to feel that they’re at fault and more likely to remain quiet and loyal to their abuser. They’re plagued by sleep problems, emotional problems and, naturally, sexual issues.

And similar to those abused in a more physical sense, their symptoms worsen over time. An innocent picture is anything but when you consider the “feelings of deep despair, worthlessness, and hopelessness” child porn victims report years or even decades after posing for their abuser.

And yet many of these parents report feeling that this is a victimless crime – that the child is naked, so what? That they personally aren’t TOUCHING their child in a sexual way (even if they force the child to touch him or herself). That they aren’t subjecting the child to being touched – physically anyway – by a stranger.

These parents (most often fathers – according to the statistics) are most often driven by money. But can money ever replace the sick pit in your stomach knowing out there, somewhere, a pedophile is pleasuring him or herself to the picture of your naked four-year-old?

There is no such thing as a victimless crime.

Image: Injury Board

Source: Tampa Bay Tribune

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