Looking at Child Pornography is Not A Victimless Crime

Apr 30, 2013

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Hanny on his laptop_MMVIII

Earlier, we blogged about how victims of child pornography were entitled to restitution. These laws are new, and there is some controversy over just how much restitution is owed, and by whom.

Some people say that looking at child pornography is a victimless crime. After all, they’re just looking. They’re not the ones abusing the unfortunate child in the photos and videos that circulate the internet. But some victims of child porn disagree. They say that they are revictimized every time someone downloads a photo or video depicting their abuse. They say that it hurts them to know that others are profiting from their pain.

One victim (who goes by “Nicole”) said, on finding out that pictures of her abuse had been distributed all over the world, “Knowing that other people, all over, had seen me like that, I just froze. I could hear my mother crying, but I couldn’t cry.”

A 2004 law requires that crime victims receive notice every time a suspect is arrested or has a court appearance.  Nicole said about the notices, “We stacked them in a laundry basket in a walk-in closet so I wouldn’t have to see them. Then there were more baskets, and we had to move them to the garage. It was really hard for me. I was still scared of my father, but I knew him. These other people, they were strangers, and there were so many of them.”

The victim in our earlier post, Amy, has successfully sued various defendants who downloaded her pictures, more than 150 so far. Nicole has won in 204 cases.

There is no question that the victims of child pornography continue to suffer, even after the actual physical abuse has stopped.

Parents, monitor your children. They need to be informed about the dangers of encountering sexual predators online as well as offline. Talk to them openly and honestly and let them know that they are always welcome to talk to you about anything disturbing they see online or in real life. In addition, parents should be vigilant, and make use of the numerous Internet filters out there to monitor their children and help protect them from the filth that can be found online.