Updated: Nov 29, 2022
The thought of people paying money to rape a 6-year-old is nauseating. The thought of a mother facilitating it is even more gut wrenching.
Justice in these types of situations (i.e., prison sentences for trafficking) is unique. But these types of abuses are not.
There is a huge market in the United States of adults who want to have sex with children. Many people are willing to pay money for it, rather than having to find a victim themselves. While it’s hard to quantify the amount of people who want to have sex with pre-pubescent children, researchers estimate that approximately 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will experience sexual abuse before the age of 18, making the rate of offenders and the number of times they offend very high (1).
It's important to distinguish that people who are paying for sex with kids are predators, not traffickers. Predators are motivated by sexual fantasies and desires. Traffickers are the ones facilitating the rape of a child for money and are motivated by financial gain, not sexual gratification.
These two work in tandem. Traffickers need predators to stay in business and predators need traffickers to procure kids for them.
While the some of the buyers are pedophiles (adults who are sexually aroused by pre-pubescent children), others are adults who are addicted to pornography and are habitually looking at child sexual abuse materials and others likely have other paraphilias and sexual disorders.
If we could stop demand, (i.e. stop the massive amount of adults wanting to have sex with children) then we wouldn’t read horrific headlines like this one. How do we do that?
It’s a very complex and difficult thing to tackle. Most sexual abuse prevention, focuses on protecting vulnerable kids, and does not focus on why adults sexually abuse children. One of the biggest prevention measures is to raise awareness and discuss treatment options on pornography addiction.
In this documentary, Raised on Porn | Documentary Film - YouTube, an adult male discusses how he became addicted to child sexual abuse materials and was not a pedophile. It’s happening more and more in our society as child sexual abuse materials are so accessible. Eventually many porn users want more than a video and end up acting out their fantasies on children they can easily purchase.
One of the biggest prevention measures is to raise awareness and discuss treatment options on pornography addiction.
While it may feel daunting to tackle things like demand and child sexual abuse, we have to start having discussions on these very topics if we truly want child sex trafficking to end.