The year 2017 is a good year for the campaign and the fight against child sexual abuse online. Hundreds of men in Europe and America and Asia have been arrested. Police have gathered evidence of their illegal actions viewing and sharing images of children being sexually abused. They are the customers of these images and other paedophiles and criminals are actually abusing children and selling or sharing the images of the abuse.
The number of reports of child abuse is pouring into the police in the developed countries. Interpol and the FBI recently arrested 870 paedophiles caught online connected to an international paedophile ring. They saved hundreds of children in one of the most important operations of investigating child sexual abuse online. After cracking the world’s biggest child pornography website run by a Florida-based 58-year old criminal Stephen Chase, the police got him 30 years in jail and many of 870 caught will receive similar sentences, we hope. His website promoting child abuse had 150,000 users.
He alone had that huge number of subscribers. How many more online abusers are still out there and how many are travelling abroad to abuse the children? For every image of an abused child, a child has been raped. When the images are shared, the child is abused again. The images encourage and induce men to abuse children in their own countries and to travel to countries abroad to actually abuse children. That’s why the human rights organisation Preda Foundation based in Olongapo City, Philippines (www.preda.org) is supporting and encouraging the new proposed law banning the travelling abroad of convicted paedophiles in every country worldwide.
It’s now a dangerous world for these child abusers as the police are using powerful anti-encryption software to break into the online accounts of the abusers. Some critics say the CIA developed the encryption methods and spread them free online, attributed the creation of them to another person. Now law enforcement can actually see what is being encrypted because they have the codes. They wrote them, it is conjectured.
In England, one police official has asked the judiciary to look for another way to punish low-level offenders who view illegal images of children being sexually assaulted without court proceedings. The police, he says, are overwhelmed with the increasing number of reports of child sexual abuse and they are investigating many hundreds of reports. They are overwhelmed and need to focus on saving the victims being abused in the real world, he says.
But that is not the way to go. Every online abuser must be held accountable because the more people view the images, the more children are actually abused. If the judiciary treated drug users as patients and not criminals, it would unburden the police and the courts and they could focus on catching the child abusers and jailing them. The growing success of the police these years indicates the extent of child abuse online and in the real world. It supports the long-held estimate that one in every three girls are victims of sexual abuse and one in six boys are victims too.
This is a terrible indictment of the human species, the one with the big brains, intelligence and massive organised technological society ever to inhabit the planet earth, the one that routinely sexually abuses their own offspring and vulnerable children. I have not seen a report where the other creatures on the planet do this.
In this generation, the world is only awaking to and confronting this terrible crime against children. In 1989 the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was first proposed and passed by a majority of the nations in 1990. Only then were the rights of the children formally proclaimed. National laws followed.
Sexual abuse of a child has long-term effects. It damages the human person for life and leads to many psychological problems such as addiction, dependency, self-harm and suicides. We need to know that emotionally-disturbed people should not be judged as psychologically unbalanced, mentally sick but understood as carrying unbearable burdens and are in need of support and help.
The spread of harmful drug abuse with youth and adults can be linked to childhood abuse and it is just desperate self-medication to ease the pain, the suffering and the fear. They need help to forget the abuse and the anger and hatred that they carry with them.
Many know that the many victims need a cure and emotional expression therapy is a great help. It is successful when the victim is sharing the deepest feelings about the abuse with another understanding, supportive trusted person and unburdening themselves. It is not always a hopeless situation of the abused person. This is a path to recovery and a more balanced life with inner freedom from the tension and pressure of the buried pain.
Take action today and join the Preda Keyboard Advocacy Project. Download articles like this one at www.preda.org and share it with your contacts, friends and politicians. Join the campaign to have laws that ban convicted paedophiles from travelling abroad. You can save hundreds of children from abuse.
Fr. Shay Cullen,
23rd June, 2017.