The Nameless Victims of Child Exploitation Material: Child Abuse Awareness Month – Part 1

(Part 1 of 3)

The Nameless Victims of Child Exploitation Material
April is Child Abuse Awareness Month.

They are all real. They are innocent vulnerable victims who do not have a choice. Some are as young as three months old, others almost sixteen. Pre-adolescent children are the most sought-after victims in the continual, sexually abusive industry that is known as Child Exploitation Material (CEM) or Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). This illegal industry is also referred to as Child Pornography. The term Child Pornography has historically been used in New Zealand and some overseas countries. However, many New Zealand agencies involved in combating this type of harmful child abuse advise that pornography – as generally thought of by the public – is understood to be the legal viewing of age restricted content. The addition of the word ‘child’ to the term pornography can sometimes lead to confusion amongst the general public, and for some offenders can be used to maliciously excuse or compare their offending as being similar to viewing or participating in the consensual acts of adults.

For this reason, like the many New Zealand agencies who work tirelessly to combat this horrific violent form of child abuse, I too will refer to the crime of child exploitation material (CEM) rather than child pornography. 

There is one thing you must understand – every single child that is forced to be a victim of child exploitation material is a living, breathing, human being. An innocent boy or girl, a baby, a toddler, a child or a teenager all used for sadistic sexual gratification of those willing to pay to view an innocent child being raped, tortured, beaten, sodomised and violated by depraved adults. 

We Are Not Immune – Child Abuse Awareness Month

Do not for one moment believe that our New Zealand children are immune from this horrific form of child exploitation. This is a global pandemic began years before the internet consumed our daily lives. Graphic photos were once exchanged in brown envelopes. The still photography then developed into shocking ‘movies’ recorded on VHS video tapes. Horrific violent scenes of vulnerable children violated for those willing to pay to view such depravity. The violence is real, the victims are real, the pain they suffered was real. Then came the internet. Child Exploitation Material has increased 700% since the introduction of the internet. Child Exploitation Material is now the most profitable, most viewed form of sexual violence on the Dark Web. It is a multi-billion-dollar online industry, with over 100,000 sites dedicated to the crime. Sadly, it is also one of the fastest growing online businesses. 

“The pictures, videos, images, and sounds of child pornography can be accessed online, with emails, chat rooms, and websites, and with even the potential of real time and interactive experiences, with webcams, video chat rooms, and social networking. As these images are delivered through digital means, the pictures and images do not deteriorate with time, and can be shared with others time and time again. In truth, the supply of child pornography, human trafficking, and the exploitation of children in a sexual fashion will never be erased unless society addresses the demand of it, as well. The exploitation of children has been around for a long time, and online technology has only served to increase the problem.” – Dr. John DeGarmo

Source: Huffington Post

Again, please remember our children are not immune from this form of child abuse.

This is part 1 of a 3 part series on this topic. Please join us if you would like to receive important news & updates from us.

– Karrin Coates
Waikato Victim Advisor of SSGT

Please consider donating to SST or SSGT to support the work we are doing to raise awareness and advocate for victims of serious crime in New Zealand.

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Due to growing demand, the Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) and Sensible Sentencing Group Trust (SSGT) are on the search to grow our advocating teams.
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