ASACP Offers Important Steps to Report Child Pornography
Do you know what to do to help a child without putting yourself at risk for committing a crime?
Los Angeles, CA (October 9, 2007) – There are many things we are taught we should be prepared for. In southern California people should prepare for earthquakes, rolling blackouts and traffic delays. But what many people never consider is what they would do if they came across child pornography. Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP), a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating child pornography from the Internet, operates an online reporting hotline that can help you to report child pornography.
The sexual exploitation of children is a heinous crime and reporting it could help save a child from being further victimized. The recent story about a man finding a video tape of a 3-year old girl being raped brings to light this very dark issue. Because this man turned in the tape to authorities the girl was identified, as was her abuser, however because the man waited to turn in the tape it is uncertain at this time whether or not he will be charged with possession of child pornography. Most people will agree that he should have turned over the tape to authorities immediately. However when reporting child sexual exploitation it could be just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do in order to not become criminally liable for the possession or distribution of child pornography.
Most people are not going to physically come across a video tape or a photograph of a child being sexually exploited. What is more likely is that someone will be exposed to child pornography on the internet. What makes it even more difficult is the likelihood that the shock of seeing the image of a child, perhaps as young as only a few months old, being horribly abused would be so upsetting that it would be difficult to properly report what you have seen. Add in that you could be criminally liable for your actions and this is a situation few are prepared for. So what would you do?
What Do You Do If You Come Across Suspected Child Pornography On The Internet
What you should DO:
- Record the URL (website) address (if you got it before you left the page)
- Make notes of anything you noticed before you left the page (i.e. victim’s age)
- Report it immediately!
- Go to: http://www.asacp.org or www.cybertipline.com
- If you can identify the child immediately call your local FBI office
What NOT to do:
- Do not download it!
- Do not save it!
- Do not print it!
- Never forward it – NOT even to Law Enforcement or a hotline!
- Never attempt to research it yourself!
- Never attempt to seek out child pornography even if your purpose is for research or to report!
- Do not revisit the site – NOT for any reason (even if you want to go back to get the URL to report it)
Any of these activities are illegal and regardless of your intentions you could be legally responsible.
About ASACP: Founded in 1996, Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating child pornography from the Internet. ASACP also works to help parents prevent children from viewing age-inappropriate material online, through initiatives like its RTA (“Restricted to Adults”) website label. For more information visit: www.asacp.org.