The expansion of the Internet and advanced digital technology has been proportional to the boom in child pornography. The evidence is that child pornography is now available on almost every Internet corner, from social networks, file sharing sites, photo sharing sites, gaming devices and even mobile apps.
Child pornography cases have grown by 80% since 1990. The market for child pornography has become a $3 billion industry.
Over time, child pornography becomes increasingly violent as those poor children are forced to do horrible things beyond the imagination of our adults. Child pornography makers even target unborn children as their victims. So what should parents do to protect their children from child pornography?
What is child pornography?
Child pornography is a form of child sexual exploitation. Under US federal law, child pornography is any visual depiction of pornography involving a minor (someone under the age of 18). Child pornography images are also considered child sexual abuse images.
Production and distribution of child pornography
How child pornography producers and distributors evade detection by law enforcement has become increasingly sophisticated. In an attempt to conceal illegal child pornography images, they use various encryption techniques and anonymity networks on “The Dark Internet”.
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Some sophisticated online crime organizations have even written security manuals to ensure that their members adhere to security protocols and cryptographic techniques to continue doing child pornography things but not being detected.
Continued production and distribution of child pornography increases demand new and more severe, violent images, leading to continuous sexual abuse of child victims, as well as new child abuse. Beside sharing and trading of images, offenders also share their interests, experiences of child pornography on groups chat, forums.
How do they target your child?
While some pictures of child sexual abuse depict children in great distress, others may show a child looking somehow “happy”. However, just because a child was “happy” doesn’t mean the abuse didn’t happen.
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In most cases of child pornography, the abuse is not a one-off, but victimization that goes on for months or years. Child porn producers tend to care for or nurture a relationship with a child and gradually abuse it over time. This process of care and nurture gives children a sense of false trust, leading to openness, not fear, thereby disrupting the child’s ability to resist sexual abuse.
Therefore, even if a child appears happy in a particular image, it is important to remember that the abuse may have begun years before the image was created.
Furthermore, victims of child pornography are not only sexually abused to produce child pornography but are also affected by the fact that their images can be viewed, exchanged and purchased by others around the world.
Once posted on the Internet, the image is permanent and cannot be recovered. Experts and victims both argue that children often endure lifelong victimization knowing that their images of sexual abuse will forever appear on the Internet.
Children who have been victims of sexual abuse produced by the production of child pornography suffer enduring events as a result of depression and psychological shame. They have to endure feelings of helplessness, fear, humiliation and lack of control because they think their images are always out there and there are always people watching them.
Other injuries include disruptions in the development of sex, self-image, and developing trusting relationships with others in the future.
Unfortunately, emerging trends indicate an increase in the number of brutal and violent child sexual abuse images, especially among toddlers and infants.
What can parents do to protect their children from child pornography?
To start crime, child pornography makers and distributors often approach children first. So, when your child is already using the phone or having to use a computer for online learning, you need to have open and honest conversations about what they can see, what is harmful to them on the Internet, and child pornography is one of them.
- Please make sure your children stay away from messages soliciting from strangers, and never send images/videos of your body to anyone, even close friends.
- Often child porn distributors will talk and make long-term social networks with children, after which they will most likely send pornographic, nude images/videos to stimulate your child’s curiosity, so you need to download one of the best parental control software that block inappropriate content online to protect kids from porn, preventing the possibility of your child falling victim to them.
- Teaching your child real-life skills will never be enough, to better protect your child, especially when both you and your child depend (a lot) on the Internet, you need to teach your child soft skills in the digital age, helping them better protect themselves and become a responsible citizen of the Internet. We also have internet safety tips for parents.
- Communication has always been one of the most effective ways to help minimize your child’s exposure to risky and dangerous behaviors. You should be up-to-date on exactly what risks children are exposed to online, negative trends in teen behavior, or what cyber attackers often have in common.
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