Sunday, September 23, 2012

how do I feel about the victims of child porn?


I promised I would respond to Liza's comments on how I feel about the victims of child pornography. She said:
I think you are very lucky that you or your kids have never been sexually abused. You have no idea the effect it has on a person. They carry the shame and horror until they die. Every relationship they have is affected. What happens to the family of the perpetrator is not the victim's concern. It's horrible for the family but the victim is what matters. Even if the victim is only in pictures. I assure you that the child in the pictures is the victim in child porn - not the person that looks at it. 
I've read every word you have written. There seems to be no concern for the victims but only for your family. I think if you thought about sexual abused victims, you'd have a easier time with what has happened to your family. You'd understand why all hell as broke loose in your family.
There must be blogs out there that discuss the viewpoint you accuse me of ignoring; this is not one of them. I started this blog to talk about my experience as the wife of a man under investigation for possession of child pornography.

Sexual abuse of a child is wrong, no matter how the child deals with it as a child or as an adult. If a victim grows up to be a lovely, well-adjusted person with no lingering effects of the abuse, the abuse was and is wrong.

I have said before that I cannot imagine what it is like to be a victim of sexual abuse and to find that there are photos of that abuse available on the Internet. While victims can share some responses to their abuse, surely they cannot all react the same way. Every victim has his or her own feelings about the abuse and makes his or her own decisions about how to deal with those feelings. To say they all "carry the shame and horror until they die" is a gross generalization and discounts the individual perspectives of each person involved.

I cannot do anything about how victims deal with the after effects of abuse when I do not know the victim. As much as I would like to wave my magic wand and make things better for all child sexual abuse victims, I am tragically unable to do that. We all are. Putting sex offenders on a registry is not the magic wand, either. Identifying all the sex offenders in the neighborhood does nothing to protect children from the first-time offender.

You say "What happens to the family of the perpetrator is not the victim's concern." If you don't care personally about what happens to the families of sex offenders, that is your choice but when your government is responsible for the bad treatment of sex offenders and their families, it is your concern.

You say, "I assure you that the child in the pictures is the victim in child porn - not the person that looks at it." The child in the pictures is a victim of the person who sexually abuses him or her and of the person who photographs the abuse and distributes it. The person who looks at child porn is victimized by a court system and a society that treats him as if he has committed the abuse in the photos even when he did not.

It is frequently said that the child in the photos is victimized again every time someone looks at the image. If that is true, why are you not angry with the investigators, the prosecutors, the attorneys, the juries and all the other people who look at those images? If simple looking victimizes the child all over again, those people are also victimizers, are they not? Perhaps you mean that any pervert who looks at the images and masturbates while looking...those are the ones victimizing the child again? Here's a surprise: the law does not care if the viewer is masturbating or knitting socks while looking. Masturbation is not the crime. The crime is more specific: Clicking a link to download the image is the crime; possessing the image is the crime. The law does not even care if you look at the images in your possession.

My concern is not only for my family. They are, of course, my first priority (isn't that true for you, as well?) but our concerns should reach far beyond our families.

My concern is for the victims of the war on drugs unemployed because their status as a felon makes them ineligible for hire. My concern is for the sex offenders harrassed, hurt, and killed because they are on the sex offender registry. My concern is for the government budgets straining under the rising cost of incarceration. My concern is for the families who are victimized by law enforcement using SWAT tactics or home invasion tactics to execute search warrants. My concern is for the children who watch cops shoot the family dog during those searches. My concern is for the millions of American citizens who are not allowed to vote. My concern is for the defendants--innocent, even--who are forced to accept a plea agreement because the mandatory minimum sentence waits for them if they don't take the plea.

You said a mouthful when you said I should be glad that my family has not been subject to child sexual abuse. I am glad. My heart goes out to anyone who has to deal with that particular horror. However, child sexual abuse is not the only horror in the world...nor is it even the worst horror.

I will not apologize for focusing on the injustice my family faces.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Marie, I am so very proud of the way you are handling your blog! No one can possibly understand this issue unless they have been put in this situation. My family has been affected by both sides of this issue and it is a living hell! I have came to realize our justice system is very skewed and at times completely unjust. I want to thank you for your time and consideration as you enter your blogs. You help me to realize we are not alone in fighting these battles. We too are victims, but I refuse to give up and I will survive through this ordeal. My situation is different in many ways, but many,many lives are damaged in each situation. God bless you and your family that you can some how be whole again!

Liza said...

I have been asked by law enforcement if pictures of me could be used as bait on the internet. I absolutely do not believe in that and said no. There are enough criminals in the world. There is no reason or need to entice or entrap them to commit more crime. I feel the same way about the Dateline stings, drug buys and anything similar.

If there wasn't a "market" for child porn on the internet, meaning no one seeking to look at it, there wouldn't be pictures. I believe there has been child porn since the camera and film were invented. With new inventions (Polaroid, digital cameras and the internet), it has become easier for the criminals that take the pictures and for those that look at them. It is not a harmless crime by looking at the photos. The kids/now adults are victims every single time those photos are looked at. Law enforcement doesn't have a choice, they have to look at them. Your husband chose to look at them. There is a big difference in law enforcement looking at the photos and someone downloading the pictures in their home. The two intents are completely different. What reasonable explanation is there for finding child porn on the computer in your home?

I think the sex registry is wrong. There are so many people on it, that it has become ineffective. I think if someone is going to re-offend, they will do it regardless of the list because it's a compulsion. Also, the laws have made it impossible for the people on the list to live reasonably. I wonder if the circumstances actually helps them re-offend because of all the restrictions, they can't work or keep busy in a reasonable way.

In your situation, the way your husband was arrested seems wrong. I'm not sure why they did it that way but I'm sure it was legal as they wouldn't want to jeopardize the criminal case. I'm also sure it was used to intimidate your family. I either missed it in your blog or you haven't said, I'm not sure the police knew your husband was the one they were looking for. If they didn't know, then maybe that's why they showed up when the kids were around in case it was one of them.

Luckily, I am whole now after years of therapy and a wonderful marriage and family. I do wish your family well and hope everything goes okay once your husband goes to prison. To me, from reading what you have written, it seems like you haven't accepted it and are going to have a bad time once it happens. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. My original comment was that it might be easier to accept everything that has happened if you think of the victims.

Anonymous said...

www.framedforchildporn.com
Google framed for child porn and read some very interesting articles. Some times u don't even know it is on your computer......

Anonymous said...

Do you think your husband has masturbated to photos of his own children?

ellie said...

A few years ago I was exactly where you are, making the same accusations and justifications to protect my boyfriend when he was being investigated for child porn. I did this because he'd threatened to kill me if I told, and I even lied to the cops when they asked to protect him, and you know what? It was sick then and it's sick now.
Downloading and posessing child porn is illegal because it continues to victimize the children it exploited. It's illegal because it creates and fuels a demand for more images which lead to more children being hurt and abused. Child sexual abuse is in fact one of the worst things that can happen to a person, and viewing and downloading it just fuels the cycle.
I have to live with the guilt of waiting until it was too late to tell the truth about my ex boyfriend. That he got away with it is going to haunt me for the rest of my life. Don't end up in the same situation- talk to the police, tell them what you know, and encourage your husband to be honest with himself and with them.

Antigone said...

"You say, "I assure you that the child in the pictures is the victim in child porn - not the person that looks at it." The child in the pictures is a victim of the person who sexually abuses him or her and of the person who photographs the abuse and distributes it. The person who looks at child porn is victimized by a court system and a society that treats him as if he has committed the abuse in the photos even when he did not."

If you honestly believe any of that, you are seriously in need of some counsleing to move you past this wall of ignorance you've built up to protect yourself.

Anoni Tihnker said...

Hi there I was reading some of your posts and I am sorry to hear about what you have gone through. I cannot even begin to think how I would cope if I were in that similar situation. Like you I also hope that this country's laws will change and that a new generation of lawmakers will be open-minded to seeing the consequences of the laws they pass before they pass them.

@Liza
You are very misinformed. I have done research on this topic for a while now. It is a very volatile subject and induces knee jerk reactions in a majority of people because they hear the same story all the time, but they don't hear the other story. Child pornography as law enforcement calls it today is politically incorrect even for them as a child cannot consent to sexual activities with an adult, therefore it is not pornography it is sexual abuse.

"If there wasn't a "market" for child porn on the internet, meaning no one seeking to look at it, there wouldn't be pictures."
~There is no market Liza. Your mentality of "market", which you failed to explain just goes to show that you spit out whatever you read in the news. The majority of the content available is free and the abusers share it with like-minded people in chatrooms. Then that person will give it to others so on and so forth and no money is involved.
~Even if you throw every person who possess the images into prison, the abusers would still create images/videos for their own viewing pleasure and still share them with people who share similar thoughts.

"It is not a harmless crime by looking at the photos. The kids/now adults are victims every single time those photos are looked at."
~Referring back to my previous point you spit out what you hear in the news. What you and a majority of people are saying is that looking at the pictures will somehow cause a physical disturbance in the child as if the pictures are somehow linked to their brain. So you are suggesting the child has extra-sensory perception (ESP), so they would know every time their images are viewed.

"Law enforcement doesn't have a choice, they have to look at them. Your husband chose to look at them."
~They do have a choice, we all have a choice. Law enforcement personnel chose to be where they are now. You could argue it is a part of their job, but remember your earlier saying "It is not a harmless crime by looking at the photos. The kids/now adults are victims every single time those photos are looked at." Law enforcement agencies have contradicted themselves.

"There is a big difference in law enforcement looking at the photos and someone downloading the pictures in their home. The two intents are completely different."
~The woman who created this blog also had a post that stated an ICE agent whose responsibility was to fight child sexual abuse was in possession of images and was sentenced to 6 years. With that being said I don't see a big difference. Humans are humans, it is not as if law enforcement agents are superior humans, sure they have the government authority, but still just as weak as every other human. "Let him who hath not sinned cast the first stone".

The fact that our government goes after the "low hanging fruit" suggests that they are doing this to get their ideas across to the people to gain their support. Just think about it, someone's life will be ruined for possessing pictures of a child being abused. The picture is a record of something that has ALREADY happened, yet many argue that looking at it fuels a demand, causes a cycle of victimization, or the possessor is a pedophile. The word demand is used in economics and economics means money is involved, if the images are free then how is there demand. All questions need to be answered, but in order for them to be answered both sides of the arguments must be reviewed.





Isabella said...

When law enforcement looks at the photos, yes victimization occurs again. You do realize that the children in the photos are blurred out or removed from the photos and not viewed again and again by law enforcement? This is two fold - so that the viewers don't need to look at the children again and again and thus continue to revictimize the children and make themselves uncomfortable and so that they can investigate by focusing on other things in the photo that will hopefully lead them to the child.

sd said...

you are very delusional if you think looking at any form of media victimizes anyone or anything...the only point in time that child (now adult maybe) is victimized is when they are sent a letter of the suspect's name and that they found "your" images/videos on "his" computer....then again you cannot say that particular person caused any victimization because the victim started to experience hopelessness and grief the very first time they were told their images are on the Internet...law enforcement's job is hypocritical regardless if they blur out the image or if they do not view it again and again....the NCMEC (non-profit organization child protection) has viewed 17.3 million child porn images so by your standards those victims are repeatedly victimized every time some volunteer at NCMEC has to "analyze" the image and on a side note we don't know if that analyst has come to "like" the pictures...sexual desire pervades every socio-economic class in society...so that volunteer or FBI or ICE agent actually "enjoys" their jobs...please don't spread your stupid bullshit over the Internet...the government is waging a war on fucking pictures and videos all volatile once it hits the Internet....even the Department of Justice states those images are irretrievable so why the fuck are they going after people who possess it and didn't even pay for it? the federal possession statute would fit perfectly in the late 80's and early 90s, but now anyone can get tv shows, porn, and videogames all for free...all the government is doing is fucking wasting your fucking money hunting down some voyeuristic pervert sitting in his home jerking it to some pictures that were taken 10 years ago which he had no hand in creating and that victim is already older by the time the pervert is caught...the only victimization that occured is when the law enforcement tells the victim "so sorry your pictures of yourself are on the Internet" at that point in time they must suffer having that knowledge...they were already physically abused to take the pictures and their privacy invaded by someone trusting and close to them perhaps a family member...and now because the government has nothing else better to do they are going after some fucker that decided to download child porno off frostwire and just happened to forget to turn off sharing of files and gets busted within a month...unecessarily putting people into jail for pictures they happened to have in hopes of destroying "the industry"...then you get your fucking life ruined over some kiddy diddly pictures and become an RSO and then someone fucking kills you because they mistook you for a pedophile when you only downloaded some pictures and videos that existed for years...this is my question to law enforcement what do you hope to accomplish by putting all these people in jail? you hope to stop the so-called "demand"? but what about the "supply"? it will always be there free of charge, ready for the taking, everyone assumes you must pay why don't you all fucking read a news article you will see that 95% of arrests are for possession from p2p applications...Isabella go fuck yourself the system is fucking broken...the images out there are duplicates of the same victims which are trying to cash out by having their lawyers exploit their exploitation...fuck this country (US) and fuck every country that follows in this countries footsteps...

Claire5353 said...

That is a disgusting assumption and you should be ashamed of yourself for asking such an abrasive question. Who do you think you are, as judge and jury. Shame on you.

Claire5353 said...

"blurred out"??? That's the strangest assertion I have ever heard. The reason for law enforcement's examination of the pictures is to IDENTIFY the person in the photo. How exactly are they to do that if it is blurred out?

Furthermore, the unspoken distinction between law enforcement viewing the pic and a regular citizen viewing the pic is obviously intent. Law enforcement's intent is noble and to uphold the law, whereas the viewer's intent is perverted. And that's where we get into the murky territory of assuming someone's intent, a completely unknowable, intangible construct. This is rather like the film MInority Report.

A. said...

"It is frequently said that the child in the photos is victimized again every time someone looks at the image. If that is true, why are you not angry with the investigators, the prosecutors, the attorneys, the juries and all the other people who look at those images? If simple looking victimizes the child all over again, those people are also victimizers, are they not?"

So do you also argue that a nurse or doctor administering a rape kit is "re-raping" the victim? Of course not. He or she is gathering evidence to prosecute the alleged rapist.

Law enforcement is not victimizing your husband. The justice system is not victimizing your husband. If anything, your husband victimized your entire family when he went down that tawdry, despicable rabbit hole. He can't vote anymore? Wow, that sucks. You know what sucks even more? Being videoed or photographed while being raped and knowing that not only are there people who enjoy watching it but who also support the "right" to view it without intervention by LEOs AND people who continue to disseminate it to even more people who want to masturbate to your deepest humiliation and greatest hurt. Yeah, definitely, you're right: Not getting to vote sure sucks worse. (rolls eyes)

Amil said...

We have a pedophiles wife blogging about his crimes. It's a natural question to ask under the circumstances. I've just found this blog after hearing it discussed frequently. I'll probably be posting a few more comments on older entries.

Lori Dixon said...

Is it really any more disgusting than the fact that he WAS convicted of doing the same to photos of other people's children?

Lori Dixon said...

How dare you try to minimize child sexual abuse by comparing it to Rwandan genocide. You make zero sense. Do you really believe the lies you tell yourself? "Yes he got off to pictures of children being abused, but hey, at least he isn't Hitler, amirite?"

Lori Dixon said...

I notice that there is always a legal argument in the comments but never a moral one. Sd, I am interested in your moral argument for this. I am not talking about religious bullshit. I mean, how do YOU justify getting off on the misery of children being abused? It is quite obvious that this is something you feel strongly about. I am sure this isn't just a coincidence. Do you feel shame or do you intellectualize it like you do here in these comments and make it out as though YOU are the victim of these laws? Seems like you've thought a lot about it.

Lori Dixon said...

The same argument is used regarding whether wearing vintage fur is the same as buying new fur. It was already killed so many years ago, and you aren't putting money into a new demand for furs to be made, so should it still be seen as immoral by people who want the fur trade to end? OF COURSE. You continue to ignore the obvious point which is that the subject matter is inherently immoral. Some child was caused pain and anguish in the making of it, and you are using it for your pleasure. If you can't see that simple and obvious point then you are intellectualizing the abuse to relieve yourself of guilt.

Valigator said...

" If you can't see that simple and obvious point then you are intellectualizing the abuse to relieve yourself of guilt."

Thats what all the wives, mothers and girlfriends do. They rationalize then attempt to defer to some outrageous example like "offenders are to the registry as the Holocaust was to the Jews.
Its textbook. This blog is followed by the most high profile pro-offender groups in the country. They feed off each other and their daily dose of rationalizing.

Marie said...

At first I was flattered, Val, when you said most high profile pro-offender groups in the country follow my blog. Then I thought...but Valigator is wrong about so much other stuff that she's probably wrong about this, too. Not to worry; I will survive the letdown.