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Archive for September 15th, 2008

Be sure to watch today’s Oprah show. She is going to be exploring “Internet Predators: How Bad is It?” Here is the description of the episode from her website:

No one knows how bad it really is or [how] fast it spreads…it’s time we all found out. Online sex predators—we’ve got to change the law.

One issue she will be covering is a proposed change in the law. The Senate is considering Senate Bill 1738, which would appropriate millions of dollars toward fighting Internet kiddie porn. Here is a summary of the bill, which is also known as the Combating Child Exploitation Act of 2008:

A bill to establish a Special Counsel for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction within the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, to improve the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, to increase resources for regional computer forensic labs, and to make other improvements to increase the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute predators. – Govtrack.us

The statistics in the bill are disturbing but not surprising to me. The bill cites research by the Department of Justice, the University of New Hampshire, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that found that those arrested for possession of child pornography included the following:

  • 83% have images of children 6-12 years old
  • 39% have images of children 3-5 years old
  • 19% have images of children under the age of 3 years old

See Sec. 2 Findings under subsection (2) in Senate Bill 1738.

It gets worse.

The images and videos being trafficked typically depict sexual assaults that are both graphic and brutal. The same research indicates that 80 percent of known child pornography possessors have images of children being sexually penetrated and 21 percent have images depicting children bound, gagged, blindfolded, or ‘‘otherwise enduring sadistic sex.’’ Just 1 percent restricted their collecting to images of simple child nudity.

See Sec. 2 Findings under subsection (3) in Senate Bill 1738.

These people are not only taking nude photographs of children. They rape every orifice. They take pictures of children being sexually assaulted by animals. This type of abuse is not limited to older children. Very young children, even toddlers, are photographed experiencing this type of severe sexual abuse.

Every single person reading this blog needs to contact your senator in support of this bill. As someone who was once a victim of a kiddie porn ring, I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is that we invest money in stopping these kiddie porn rings from continuing to hurt innocent children.

Kiddie porn has been a problem for decades, and it has only gotten worse. While the Internet has brought many positives into our lives, it has also enabled kiddie porn rings to more easily distribute their pornography. This needs to stop. The Combating Child Exploitation Act of 2008 is a good step in the right direction.

*** Updated 9/23/08 — See Update on the Protect Our Children Act for a way to help pressure the Senate into passing the legislation to protect children without having to get into party politics. We need to act fast. ***

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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