Child pornography vs child abuse
While talking about the IWF and child pornography, I thought I’d explain why I still use the term ‘pornography’ when the IWF prefers, and has attempted to persuade, people to use the term ‘abuse’.
It is abuse, yes. But I take my lead from a study produced by the European Cybercrime Centre of Europol: the Virtual Global Taskforce Environmental Scan 2012. It says,
Mainstream use of the term “child pornography” has been subject to criticism for some years. But there are now indications that it may be assisting offenders in distancing themselves from the abusive and criminal nature of their involvement in online CSE.
The argument is that viewing images is not as unacceptable as physical offline abuse; and that there is some evidence that the former offender may not become, and can be prevented from becoming, the latter offender. By using different terms to distinguish between the two degrees of offence, it is now believed that pornography viewers can more successfully be helped and prevented from becoming physical abusers. And that has to be worth a try.