The creation of these images causes harm & neglect to many thousands of children every year.
• All child pornography offenses, including possession are extremely serious because they result in perpetual harm to the child and validate and normalize the sexual exploitation of children.
• Child pornography victims are harmed initially during the production of the images and the perpetual nature of their distribution on the Internet causes significant additional harm to victims.
• Child pornography offenses are international crimes. The images are transmitted across the world to offenders who redistribute them. Once an image is on the Internet it’s virtually impossible to eradicate all copies. The harm to victims is lifelong.
• The constant demand for new images of children by child porn “communities” further contribute to the production of new material and thus the sexual abuse of children.
• For some offenders, child pornography is a risk factor for other sex offending against minors.
• Approximately one in three offenders have engaged in one or more types of criminal sexually dangerous behavior predating their prosecutions for non-production offenses.
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DEFINING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Child pornography refers to any content that depicts sexually explicit activities involving a child. Visual depictions include photographs, videos, digital or computer generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor. These images and videos that involve the documentation of an actual crime scene are then circulated for personal consumption. More recently, live-streaming sexual abuse has begun to surface. In these instances individuals pay to watch the live abuse of a child via a video streaming service. This type of abuse is incredibly difficult to detect, due to its real-time nature and the lack of digital evidence left behind following the crime.
Though child pornography is a global issue, the United States remains one of the largest producers and consumers of child abuse content in the world. It’s important to understand the true nature and pervasiveness of child pornography content to convey the urgent need to address this crime.
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