By: Luis Gay
When there are headlines in the news of child pornography, people tend to focus on the person who committed the act. However, too often, people neglect to recognize how difficult it must be for the child to cope with this situation. In a recent Marie Claire Magazine article, one woman shares her story of being forced into child pornography and being sexually abused. Due to the sensitivity of this issue, the woman requested to remain anonymous. For ease of reading, I will refer to the woman as “Susan.”
Susan grew up near a major interstate highway. Her abuser would bring her to numerous truck stops where truckers would rape her in a van or warehouse. He contacted them through CB radio. From her earliest memories, Susan can remember cameras, mini lingerie, adults fondling her, and people giving her alcohol. She even recalled men giving her drugs to ensure that she remained tranquil and compliant. Her abuser would explain to her that she was going to a party and that touching was a privilege. Photos were taken because she was “such a special girl.” Susan did not protest when she was younger as she thought it was normal. It wasn’t until she reached the sixth grade that she realized that her life was extremely different from the life of other kids. None of them were touched or went to warehouses. When she told her abuser that she wasn’t enjoying herself, he left her life.
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Susan would bury herself in schoolwork as a coping mechanism and was determined to enter college, something that was not common in her home town. She was fascinated with her classes that involved gender and psychology abuse. As a result, she pursued a Master’s Degree in gender and cultural studies. She also researched sex trafficking, which shed light on some of the mysteries of Susan’s past. She learned that truck stops were havens for child abuse and that there is a group called Truckers Against Trafficking whose goal is to stop this phenomena. Because she liked research so much, she eventually became a research scientist.
As a result of her success, Susan became more open. She has a social life and eventually got married. She even adopted a son (now 10 years old) and rescued him from abuse. As a mother, she is terrified of the idea of child abuse, since she experienced it. She is not surprised when she finds out that someone is a sex offender or pedophile, who can be a teacher, celebrity, or even a public figure. Her advice to people when it comes to child abuse is: to trust your own instinct; if someone doesn’t speak up, no action will be taken; talk to a community member, police, or send a tip;and to raise questions and answers will proceed.
If you suspect child sexual abuse in your town, please call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's tipline at 1(800) 843-5678, or report activity here at http://www.missingkids.com/cybertipline/
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Luis Gay is a sophomore attending the University of San Francisco, pursuing a Biology degree and Biochemistry Minor. He is a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine.
Menza, Kaitlin. 28Aug2015. “What Happens When You're the One Being Photographed for Child Porn: A Victim Shares Her Story”. Marie Claire. [Accessed 11 Sept 2015]
This photo can be found on helpguide.org.
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