Children who fell into the abyss

Three-year-old girl Olivia appeared on the computer screen of the IWF analyst. She has big green eyes and blonde hair. Those images were taken in a family environment. In addition to Olivia, there is a person in the picture who can’t see clearly, perhaps her family. However, this person who should have taken care of Olivia is hurting her in the most ugly way. The three-year-old Olivia did not know that she had been sexually assaulted.

Since then, images of Olivia’s sexual assault have been spread on the Internet from time to time. She gradually grew up in the picture, and the abuser cleverly concealed any information that might expose the crime scene. IWF analysts believe that these photos seem to be actively shared by the abusers on the Internet, and some people have obtained benefits from them. Any sharing or paying to watch these pictures will increase the income of those who abuse Olivia.

Finally, in 2013, the police rescued Olivia. At that time she was already an eight-year-old girl. The man who caused great harm to her childhood was also punished by law.

Olivia’s encounter is not alone. In the South Korean cyber crime “Room N Incident”, a large part of the victims were minors. Among the victims currently announced by the South Korean police, the youngest is only 11 years old. This also uncovers the corner of minors who have suffered sexual abuse on the Internet.

In 2018 alone, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) deleted more than 105,000 minor sexual abuse web pages, and found an harmful photo or video every 5 minutes on average, setting a record high in history. . 17% of the victims were boys.

Internet sex crimes suffered by minors have become a global issue. Some people take advantage of the covert nature of the Internet and secretly stare at the unsuspecting children.

Perhaps at this moment, there is a minor with similar experience, asking, what should I do?

As long as the image is spreading, the injury will not stop
Susie Hargreaves OBE, CEO of IWF, once said: “For 23 years, we have been deleting images and videos on the Internet that show that children have been sexually abused. Although we have deleted more images than ever before and used some of the world’s leading Technology, but it is clear that this problem is far from being solved.”

In China, similar injuries cannot be ignored. According to the “Statistics on Sexual Abuse Cases and Education Investigation Report on Children in 2018” released by the charity organization “Girl Protection”, among the 317 cases reported by the media in 2018, 39 were netizen sexual abuse cases, accounting for 18.57% , Is the second perpetrator in the 2018 victim relationship statistics. Of the 39 cases where netizens committed crimes, 16 occurred on online platforms such as online chat platforms and social video platforms. Criminals tricked children into sending nude photos, nude videos, conducting naked chats, and making obscene actions.

Sun Xuemei, the initiator of the “Girls’ Protection” charity project and deputy editor-in-chief of, said in an interview with this reporter that online sexual abuse suffered by minors has become a global problem, and the number of crimes committed through the Internet has shown an upward trend. .

Olivia’s story does not end. After being rescued by the police, Olivia’s life was finally back on track. But the images of sexual assault she had taken since the age of three were still spreading endlessly on the Internet. For some time, IWF analysts can monitor Olivia’s photos almost every day. In order to illustrate the repetitive damage caused by network communication, the analysts counted the number of times they saw Olivia images in the next three months, a total of 347 times, an average of five times per working day. Part of the video was circulated to paid websites, which meant that some people did use the image of the girl’s sexual assault and abuse to gain benefits.

It is often said that whenever an additional person sees a photo of sexual assault circulating on the Internet, the victim seems to be attacked again. Due to the spreading characteristics of the Internet, images can hardly be completely eradicated. Even if the harm is stopped, as long as the image is still spreading, the harm to the victim is still ongoing.

The story of Raven Cariana is also full of such pain. Cariana was born in an American town in the 1970s. Her parents joined child abuse organizations when she was an infant, and profited from selling sexual abuse images from her childhood. When Cariana was eight years old, she doubted for the first time: Is every family in this world the same as us?

When Cariana entered puberty, her value in the pedophile market diminished and her parents sent them to the underground porn studio to endure more intense atrocities. Many underground studios are located in Los Angeles, the world-famous place for sunshine, beaches, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. Cariana’s parents lived in this city with images of illegal child abuse.

Growing up, Kaliana eventually escaped from a nightmare life and became a child human rights advocate, and set up her own troupe to use a puppet show to voice children who have been sexually abused. In the time when she was victimized, the Internet was still underdeveloped, and those images were only distributed offline. With the development of the online porn industry, the images of Carriana’s childhood were also posted online.

Even today, while Cariana is running for children’s human rights, there are still people who can find images of her being abused decades ago on the Internet.

The Internet is innocent, but when the perpetrators use the Internet to injure minors, it becomes a secret place for breeding crime. Unlike ordinary sexual assault through physical contact, online sexual assault borrows the characteristics of the Internet to hide sin deeper and make it harder to heal injuries.

“The rapid development of the Internet age has accelerated the global juvenile image crime industry chain.” Ye Jinglun, founder of the nonprofit media in Taiwan, concluded. In her view, industrialization is the trigger point for the deterioration of the whole thing. “The location of victims, human trafficking groups, video viewers, manufacturers, traffickers, holders, buyers, website operators and distributors are often scattered in dozens of different regions or countries of the world at the same time.”

Under this global criminal chain, the perpetrator’s purpose is not just to satisfy sexual desire, but also to purely economic interests. They take pictures and do transactions on pornographic websites, and almost everyone can profit from it.

The movie “Carnival” tells the story of two girls being sexually assaulted.

Control and humiliation
The Taiwanese nonprofit organization Youth Wings Association was established in 1994 and has been focusing on public welfare issues such as child sexual exploitation. They have received many cases of online sexual abuse. Chen Yiling, secretary general of the Wingswing Association, told this reporter that the youngest victim she was exposed to was only eight or nine years old. “This is related to the fact that children now start using 3C products (referring to computers, communications, and consumer electronics) prematurely. At the same time, when parents use 3C products for their children, they do not inform their children about network security. , Or how to protect yourself on the Internet.”

In cases encountered by the “Girls’ Protection” organization and the Youth Pre-employment Association, injuries are often under the guise of socializing and recruiting. In the cases cracked by the Chinese police, even criminals used red packets as bait. The pattern of induction is similar. First build trust and then use sounding reasons to trick minors into uploading private photos or videos. Next, the requirements gradually go to extremes. If you refuse, the photos and personal information will become a threatening weight.

Sun Xuemei mentioned another typical method, using Tongxing as an excuse. Such a case has occurred in Shanghai. A man with a surname of Qu posed as a female staff member of a film and television company. He first obtained the trust of multiple girls through QQ chat software. He also tricked and instigated several girls to take indecent photos and videos in the name of reviewing Tong Xing’s physical examination. The average age of these children is between 10-13 years old, and some people have even been tricked twice. In March 2018, the procuratorial organ filed a public prosecution with the court for Qu Moumou’s alleged child molestation. The court sentenced Qu Moumou to 10 years’ imprisonment for child molestation.

“Children are young and do not have the ability to distinguish, and are easily fooled by the other party. (Perpetrator) From the beginning of love, gradually get these things (referring to indecent images), then they can be threatened, and the child is afraid to speak.” Sun Xuemei said. She believes that this is related to the lack of pre-judgment of danger and inadequate preventive education for young people, and it is also related to the avoidance of sex in culture. “People feel that sex is shameful and cannot be said, so some children dare not tell their parents after such criminal behavior.”

Minors who have suffered such injuries on the Internet not only suffer from “spatial” sexual abuse, but also bear heavy psychological pressure. Lawyer Zhang Jing, deputy director of Beijing Lianggao Law Office, analyzed: “In this type of criminal method, the perpetrator often has to psychologically firmly control the other party, so that the victim thinks that his ability is extremely huge, and if he himself Once exposed, all people in the familiar living environment will know this matter, which will make it difficult for them to survive in the life circle.”

As a result, the victim seemed to be stuffed into an airtight container, watching the water gradually fill the surroundings, but unable to escape, and dared not cry out for help. But when the crime was exposed, there may be another kind of injury that was officially opened.

In 2012, a Canadian girl named Amanda Todd uploaded a video on the Internet about her experience. In seventh grade, Todd was induced in a video chat and exposed his chest. The other party not only cut the picture, but also threatened her to continue to take explicit photos. A year later, when Todd finally refused, the other person passed the photo to her family and classmates.

However, instead of protecting Todd, some of them mocked her and called her “chees”. Continued injuries cause Todd to suffer from depression and anxiety and rely on alcohol and drugs. Later, Todd transferred school and moved, but the harassers found her again and sent the photos to her new classmates. After moving again, Todd was again bullied and humiliated by other emotional problems.

This video caused a lot of attention. The teacher at Todd’s school learned about this and gave her psychological counseling. But the 15-year-old girl was already overwhelmed. One month after the video was released, she left the darkness by suicide.

See the child in the abyss
Cariana, who was sent by her parents to the underground studio to shoot pornographic images, had witnessed the abuse of other children and died from the studio when she was 12 years old. She rushed to the police station, which was only a 5-minute walk away, to report the incident, but the police laughed. They never seem to have seen such a young reporter and have fun with it. “One of the policemen saw me staying there for a long time, and helped me take notes in a perfunctory manner, and then teared them off with a smile on my face,” Kaliana said in an interview with the media.

Although this has happened more than thirty years ago, it is not uncommon for Carriana to struggle in hell without help. Joe Sullivan, a doctor of forensic psychology in the United Kingdom, once pointed out that only 3-5% of the victimized children can verbally express their abuse experience to the relevant agencies, and only 5% of the police reports can be used as a basis to file a lawsuit. Of these 5%, only 7% of pedophiles can be convicted, and 23% are imprisoned. In addition, even if they were imprisoned, they did not receive any behavioral treatment in prison, which led to recidivism after release.

Not only do children do not know how to properly protect themselves, some parents also panic when faced with injuries. In the many cases of children and parents receiving help from “Girl Protection”, many parents do not know how to deal with it properly. Last year, “Girl Protection” surveyed 16,152 parents, and only 37.35% of parents regularly educated their children on safety against sexual assault in their daily lives. If the child is instigated and deceived and sends nude photos and videos online, 2.32% of the parents choose to scold the child severely and find this kind of thing too shameful; 12.73% of the parents choose to immediately cancel the child’s social account, which is actually the case The evidence will be destroyed to a certain extent, which will increase the difficulty of the subsequent alarm and investigation work.

The difficulty of filing a case is another problem facing the victims. Sun Xuemei said that “Girl Protection” had received some minors’ online sexual assault for help. When volunteers helped report the case, they would find that such incidents were not so easy to file.

Zhang Jing analyzed that it is indeed difficult to file a sexual crime, and the victim has to prove that it is subjectively forced to be involuntary. “Unless the injury occurs, report the case immediately if there is sufficient evidence. Once you leave the situation and then report the case, all you can describe is the victim’s experience, and nothing else (evidence) can provide. This makes it very difficult for the police to file a case.” However, the fact is that some under-age victims are under threat of psychological pressure, and even parents dare not tell.

In addition, the particularity of the Internet has also increased the difficulty of investigation and evidence collection. Zhang Jing mentioned that some criminal suspects registered false identity information on the Internet, and after the crime was completed, Jin Chan successfully unpacked. There are also websites that use a paid membership system or social media “burning after reading” setting, which has also become a technical protection method for the spread of crime.

Sun Xuemei believes that in order to crack down on similar cases, it is necessary to promote the two lines of prevention education and policy advocacy. “On the one hand, sex education needs to be more perfect, and on the other, the legal system should be improved. Sexual abuse of children is a worldwide problem. No matter what kind of country, there is no way to completely eliminate it, but what we have to do is to reduce the incidence of injury cases.”

On February 21, 2017, in the fifth class of the fourth grade of Sanbao Experimental Primary School in Tongshan District, Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, Zhao Lan, a lecturer of “Girl Protection”, demonstrated “unfriendly contact behavior” for the students of the fourth grade of the school. (Photo of Xinhua News Agency)

Tong Lihua, director of the Beijing Youth Legal Aid and Research Center, mentioned in a commentary: “Our current legislation is mainly to combat rape, indecency and other crimes that have committed sexual assaults on children, but’online child lure is not Emphasizing the consequences of infringement is a crime of conduct. Many countries in the world fight this kind of behavior with the aim of preventing the consequences of infringement to the greatest extent. China’s current legislation on the temptation of online children is still blank.”

However, in 2018, in the guiding cases and typical cases issued by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Supreme People’s Court, indirect indirect physical contact and naked chat through network communication tools were all deemed to constitute the crime of indecent child. “The Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Court have frequently made statements in recent years. In fact, there has been a lot of progress. For those who sexually abuse children on the Internet, those who do not have physical contact and sexually abuse children through the Internet are also considered as child molestation, which is extremely great. Progress, it turned out to require physical contact, and now it can be considered without physical contact.” Sun Xuemei said.

In Ye Jinglun’s view, in addition to increasing the criminal liability in the law, it is necessary to arouse the whole society’s attention to such cases. “Pornography has always existed in our world, and we are used to these. So when we see children in (erotic videos), we also think that these children are being photographed, or designed, or her Voluntary.” However, the fact is that no child would be willing to take the initiative to shoot. “Even if the minor is willing to participate in the shooting under the guidance, it is definitely not acceptable to a healthy society.”

Another issue that Ye Jinglun cares about is that police in many countries have carried out operations to investigate and punish pornographic websites, including ad hoc operations involving multinational cooperation. But after the seizure, will people further track who the minors were who were photographed? They had fallen into the abyss, but now, have they come out of injury?