Hate, violence and crimes against the most vulnerable people continue to grow at a pace that must stop.
Over the past week, national news outlets reported stories of an 88-year-old WWII veteran who was beaten, robbed and killed in Spokane, Washington. Reports also came in about an Australian college baseball player who was shot to death while jogging in Oklahoma. In both cases the assailants were arrested. The reason for the attacks – the perpetrators of the crimes were bored. The stories of pointless deaths and crimes go on and on and have grown to the point where it’s hard to know where you’re safe and where you’re in danger.
Children are not immune from this pattern of crimes against the vulnerable. Reports grow about children being used to aid in the crimes of adults; even abuse they receive at the hands of adults they should be able to trust to care for, not hurt them.
The ease of Internet sharing and social media has helped to explode the disgusting trade of child pornography and more and more governments are spending millions of dollars to find and punish those who exploit children. The producers and viewers of child pornography are guilty.
Making child pornography is child abuse and so is possession of it. Those who view are guilty because they create the market for it; it is not a victimless crime.
In the United States, sentences have increased for those who possess child pornography from an average of about 4½ years to 8 years in jail. The sentence almost always includes treatment for pedophiles and inclusion on the national child predator list.
In a case reported in today’s edition of the Town and Country, the guilty parties in the United States each received 25-year prison terms; stiff sentences and deservedly so. Their counterparts in Australia each received a 10-month sentence. It makes one wonder just how seriously the efforts of some other countries are to combat the proliferation of child pornography.
To report an incident of child sexual abuse, contact the police. To report an incident involving the production, possession, distribution, or receipt of child pornography contact the police or you can file a report on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)’s website at www.cybertipline.com, or call 1-800-843-5678. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation and action.
To report obscene material sent to a child, a misleading domain name or misleading words or images on the Internet, file a report on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)’s website or call them by phone. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation and action.
The message: If you see it or know about it, report it.
Exploiting children leaves them with scars that will last their entire lives. Abuse of children by anyone, especially those they should be able to trust, is unconscionable.