When it Hurts to be a Child: The Effects of Child Pornography on Victims

ChildEnough is Enough, a non-profit organization advocating efforts to make the Internet safer for children and families, notes that child pornography has become a major industry that generate $3 billion annually. Furthermore, the organization stresses that the fastest growing demand in commercial websites for child abuse is for images that depict the worst types of abuse.

Authorities and other non-profits focus on the legal dimensions of the abuse. Criminal and family attorneys, however, say that it is also equally important to understand what the victims have gone through.

Discussed below are the effects of child pornography on the victims:

Immediate Effects on the Victims

The immediate effects of child pornography on victims manifest on the victim’s body. They may suffer from physical injuries and internal bleeding. Somatic effects include stomachaches and headaches. Worst, victims have greater odds of having contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

Emotional effects progress once the victim realizes the gravity of the abuse. Initially, they may withdraw themselves from their social circles. They may also feel shame and confusion.

Lasting Impact

If the emotional effects are not addressed as soon as possible, they may progress into more serious and lasting repercussions. The child may experience extreme depression, PTSD, and anxiety. The abuse also holds back the victim from establishing healthy and loving relationships.

The victim may also be drawn to destructive behaviors, such as promiscuity and substance abuse. They may also harbor suicidal thoughts due to constant humiliation, which is caused by the inability to stop the images from further distribution. These images may also affect other aspects of the victim’s life, such as friendships and professional endeavors.

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The child is already harmed and damaged in the production of the pornography. The amount of damage doubles up once the material is published and distributed, which makes the abuse a vicious and unbreakable cycle. As a responsible citizen, it is important to shun these materials and bring anyone involved to justice.