It’s Not Child Pornography, It’s Child Sexual Abuse Material.

  • By CRC Staff
  • January 15, 2020

Pornography is a term defined as adults engaging in erotic behavior in pictures, video, and/or writing, intended to cause sexual excitement.

When children are involved, it’s not pornography. It’s sexual abuse, and it’s a crime.

At Child Rescue Coalition we believe the use of language is important when protecting children. For publications and content which we control, we choose to use language which more accurately reflects the suffering of the children we strive to protect in collaboration with law enforcement.

While we recognize that ‘child pornography’ is unfortunately still a legal definition, and is used in charging perpetrators in the U.S., there are numerous international agreements and guidelines which recognize that this terminology is (at best) inaccurate.

The children do not choose to be engaged in this horrific treatment, nor do they deserve to have it filmed, distributed, and watched over and over again by sick perpetrators. This becomes the single worst moment of their lives and they are forever traumatized. We believe evidence of their sexual abuse is not “pornography”, it’s Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).

At worst, inappropriate terminology trivializes the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Some actually believe the use of the words ‘child pornography’ benefits child sex abusers because it:

  • Indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim, and therefore legality on the part of the abuser.
  • Conjures images of children posing in provocative positions, rather than suffering horrific sexual abuse.

We believe Child Sexual Abuse Material is a more accurate description and as an organization and in the media will be using this terminology moving forward. Please join us and help spread the message by sharing this change on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

For further information, please see this useful guide issued by our partners at Interpol, and read this article by the Internet Watch Foundation.