It’s not pornography…

Image credit: TheCyberhoodWatch.com

Image credit: TheCyberhoodWatch.com

I’m sick to death of hearing about child “pornography”. Again, yesterday over breakfast, I had to read about another arrest and seizure of child “pornography”. I don’t know how you feel about it, but I’m not opposed to pornography and have even partaken of its pleasures a few times… I am, however, opposed to RAPE!

I don’t care what the legal definition of pornography is. All I know is that pornography is too soft a word to EVER be used to describe the sexual assault of children.

Putting this horrific abuse of children in the same category as Playboy or Debbie Does Dallas is like saying that people swept away to die in a tsunami are “body surfing”. While technically true, it does nothing to capture the real nature of the offence and, in fact, purposefully downplays the severity.

Am I a prude? No, but I do have morals. I don’t give a fig if you have a clown fetish or like to be whipped by a giantess in leather. I do care, however, when children are raped.

Take a moment and close your eyes. Think about child “pornography”. What did you picture? Did you imagine a live feed so you can watch and listen as a father rapes his 10-year-old daughter? How about photos of a 3-year-old boy performing oral sex on an adult male? Did you see a baby girl being penetrated by her grandfather?

A man with no previous criminal record filmed himself sodomizing his 10-month-old granddaughter. He did not need to convince the child to keep the secret; in fact, he said he selected that particular victim because she was preverbal. – Michelle K. Collins, Director, Exploited Child Unit, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

Perhaps I’m too sheltered or naïve, but I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that these horrendous acts are under the same legal classification of an 18-year-old having pictures of his 17-year-old girlfriend’s breasts. (You may not be okay with this either, but it is definitely more palatable that the baby girl mentioned above.)

My heart breaks for the men and women in law enforcement who have to watch and examine every soul wrenching moment of these seized photos and videos in order for justice to be done. (I use the word “justice” here only in the legal sense, because is there any equal punishment to fit this crime? Is there any reparation that could fix the damage wrought by this brutality?) They have to watch because every recording is evidence of abuse. Any one second of the hours of violence and cruelty could help identify and rescue a child. One picture in a thousand may be the key that helps capture and convict the abuser.

We refer to each of these images as a crime scene photo because that’s exactly what they are. – John Ryan, CEO, NCMEC

And think about this… while overall crime rates continue to fall in North America, the incidents of child “pornography” are on the rise. This 3 billion dollar a year industry1 is based on the depraved exploitation of children of whom the typical age is between 6 and 12, and the profile is only getting younger.2 It is estimated that about 60% of victims are prepubescent and almost 10% are infants at the time of their abuse.3

In May 2014 in New York, there was a huge internet sting that apprehended over 70 people suspected of collecting and trading images of child rape. The investigation also resulted in the seizure of nearly 600 desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices containing a total of 175 terabytes of storage. Just think about how much child abuse that entails.

The people making and selling this filth, are they strangers who have lurked in shadows and snatched these children? No. In nearly every case investigated by the NCMEC, the abuser was an adult who had legitimate access to the child. In 2007, it was reported that 35% of child pornography was produced by the exploited child’s own parents and an additional 28% were relatives, friends or neighbours.3

Among the men arrested in the New York operation, there was a police officer, a rabbi, a babysitter, a paramedic, and a nurse. The lone woman arrested was a mother, charged with producing and distributing pornography involving her own young son.

I’m not telling you these facts because I’m a parent who is scared her children are going to be abused and exploited (although, aren’t we all?), but as a human being who is fed-up and disgusted by the weak term, “pornography” being used to describe this vile crime.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name. – Confucius

The images and videos that we read about being seized are NOT “pornography”; they are criminal evidence of the abuse and rape of children, and those who possess and distribute them continue to perpetrate the abuse. Until we start calling this crime by it’s proper name, it will remain too easy for society to turn the page and continue on to the Sports section.

Any thoughts?

References:
1) TopTenReviews; Internet Pornography Statistics
2) Enough is Enough; Child Pornography
3) Child Pornography: A Closer Look Michelle K. Collins, Director, Exploited Child Unit, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Alexandria, Virginia, March 2007, The Police Chief

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5 responses to “It’s not pornography…

  1. You are so right with this piece, and how the term “pornography” desensitizes us to the horrific nature of the crime. I can think of few things more dispicable or disgusting than those who perpetrate this kind of crime against innocent children — particularly those who are too young to communicate or even comprehend what has happened to them. I don’t have an issue with pornography that involves willing participants, whether it be for a couple’s own use or professionally produced.

    There really needs to be a distinct definition for the crrime of child rape, and those — men and women — who are drugged and sexually accosted against their will.

    But when it comes to children, that crime belongs in its own category. And so does the punishment.

    • I’m not a proponent of capital punishment, but…
      But really, it seems like these are cases where public flogging with a cat o’ nine tails would just be too gentle! Thanks for the great comment, Ned.

  2. Powerful. Thank you.
    I’m not a mother, but I am the ex-girlfriend of a guy who spent a great deal of his day, in front of a computer or magazine, engaged in violent sexual imaginings. He never acted them out in “real” life. But… yeah. I was accused of being a prude because it was “only” pornography.

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