By Tammi Pitzen

One of my recent blog posts focused on the idea that viewing child pornography is not a victimless crime. I decided to add a part two because further explanation seemed to be needed.

I think we can all agree that taking pictures of children for sexual pleasure is against the law, even if you do not agree that viewing them is morally wrong. I think we can also all agree that using children for any part of your sexual gratification is against the law.

These are not victimless crimes.

There is a child who can tell the story of how these events impacted their lives. Children are unable to consent to sexual pictures being taken of them. They cannot consent to these images being shared, sold or swapped with other people who view similar pictures.

Any time an adult uses a child for sexual gratification it is abusive. Child exploitation is not a victimless crime.

I recently saw an article that depicted these children as the forgotten victims. Why are they forgotten? And why do people have such a hard time seeing they are victimized by those who view the pictures?

One theory is that technology makes it easy for us to forget that these are real children. A person can feel far removed from reality when surfing the internet.

Do not be fooled into thinking these pictures do not demoralize and harm the children in them.

Child sexual abuse usually involves someone manipulating, coercing, or tricking a child into being confused about appropriate boundaries and what types of touch are appropriate; about what is “right” and what is “wrong”.  And in my opinion, when someone says that viewing pornographic pictures does not harm a child, it is one more manipulation to give them permission to continue on in their abuse of children.

Would you feel violated if someone took a picture of you, without clothes on, doing something you had no control over and then shared that picture with thousands of people who you may or may not know? Would you constantly worry about whether people you come in contact with on a daily basis had seen that picture?

Would you worry about whether your grandmother would see that picture?

Would you wonder if the person interviewing you for a great job had seen that picture?

Would you wonder how you would tell the person you fell in love with that these pictures are forever floating around the internet?

Would the thought of these pictures being out there cripple your functioning in your day to day life?

Would you be able to sleep?

These sound like signs of trauma to me. Is it really a victimless crime?