A Sea of Red Dots: The Explosion in Online Child Sexual Abuse

Podcast Overview

One in Ten is produced by National Children’s Alliance (NCA), the force behind Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs). The purpose of One in Ten is to share, with the CAC movement and with the general public, in-depth, engaging conversations with some of the brightest minds working to end child abuse.

While the presence of child sexual abuse images in child sexual abuse cases is not new, the sheer scale and scope and ubiquity of it all certainly is. The exponential growth in the trading of these images has now created a sophisticated marketplace designed entirely around exploiting children. We invited three guests to speak about this: Elizabeth and Ted Cross, eminent co-researchers of child sexual abuse materials online, or CSAM, and Stefan Turkheimer, the vice president of public policy at RAINN.

What Liz and Ted set out to learn was the degree to which incest played into the production of this material, what types of sex acts those trading in CSAM were most interested in, and what ages were most common among the child victims depicted. It’s all terribly, terribly disturbing but also important for us to fully understand in order to properly combat it. How they went about this work was ingenious, as you’re going to hear. But what is most important is what we learned to help inform our own investigations of child sexual abuse in order to protect these kids and better serve child victims of it.

And we also speak with Stefan about the very important policy implications of this terrible CSAM scourge. What can policy makers do to hold tech companies more responsible for preventing the proliferation of these materials in the first place? And how do we leverage the resources needed to better serve victims? Please take a listen.

Topics this episode addresses

  • The scope of the problem
  • A sea of red dots
  • Not enough resources
  • Where this is produced
  • Research design and findings
  • Severity of abuse
  • The link with incest
  • Public policy
  • Implications for practice

Listen to the podcast here



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