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Sex Crimes Against Children

Alicia Colon

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It's ten o'clock; do you know where your children are? More importantly, do you even care? Excuse my cynicism but the current pedophile crisis in the Catholic Church is just the tip of the iceberg and one wonders if anybody is all that concerned at how widespread the problem is in the rest of society.

Special police units monitoring the Internet for purveyors of child pornography report seizing photos of rape victims as young as eight months old.

The very idea that babies have become objects of sexual desire should make every decent human being cringe. Where's the outrage? What is wrong with us? Apparently nothing. According to the recently published book, Harmful to Minors, by Judith Levine, we have little to fear because:

"Pedophiles are not generally violent, unless you are using the term sexual violence against children in a moral, rather than a literal, way. Its perpetrators very rarely use force or cause physical injury in a youngster."

Is this woman insane? Former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders writes in the foreword of this book that this a very important book and if I wasn't that impressed with her before, my opinion of her has declined even further. That she can recommend any book which claims that reports of pedophiles in our society are exaggerated is just plain moronic. Perhaps the good doctor hasn't been reading the headlines these past few months.

On April 13th here on Staten Island, undercover police caught a naked man sodomizing a disabled 12-year-old boy in the back of a van. The assailant was a driver from an agency for the handicapped who was supposed to deliver the boy to school. The victim, who is unable to speak, indicated to police through drawings that this was not the first time he had been molested.

A Staten Island mother was recently arrested for photographing six children aged six (six???) to 14 performing sexual acts. Authorities claim she plied them with alcohol before photographing the children, two of whom were her own.

In San Diego, seven-year-old Danielle van Dam was snatched from her parent's home. A neighbor David Westerfield has been charged with her kidnapping and murder. Child pornography was found in his home.

Pseudo-sophisticates are trying to defend Ms. Levine's book as a brave attempt to question how society views child sexuality and that attempts to condemn the book should be regarded as censorship. Civil liberties organizations have geared up to defend a book that suggests children and teenagers can have sexual pleasure and be safe too. This is the same line of reasoning given by the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).

In March 2001, The U.S. Custom Service reported that an estimated 100,000 Web sites are involved with child pornography and trafficking is proliferating at an alarming rate. Why? The widespread availability and cheap costs of home computers and video cameras is exactly what the consumers of pornography were looking for.

Parents who leave their children alone with a computer are extremely nave if they are only depending on software to protect their children from pedophiles. The anonymity of home computing has created a cottage industry of what is beyond obscene. Vile is a mild description for what one can now view on their monitors.

Yes, I have researched what is out there and how easily accessible it is to any computer literate minor. If you have children, you must learn how to monitor what sites they are accessing. I will gladly share simple guidelines to anyone who contacts me.

It's hard to tell where this obscene material originates. Allegedly, much of it comes from the Netherlands, but many of the participants look and sound like home grown Americans. It's chilling knowing that your next-door neighbor may be filming an adult video and that they might be including their own children in their sex romps.

If one doubts that child pornography has been mainstreamed, take a good look at child beauty pageants. An HBO American Undercover documentary called " Little Dolls" recently focused on an aspiring beauty contestant who was all of five years old! Strutting on the stage in full pancake makeup and false lashes, she and other little kewpie dolls vamped and shook their booties; their parents clapping and cheering and occasionally weeping in joy at their tarted-up offspring were an unbelievably appalling sight. How is it not possible for the adults involved not to see the sickness in having such young, innocent babes perform provocatively in public? Who, other than pedophiles, are they trying to attract?

Many trusted teachers, ordinary moms and dads, clergy and politicians are suddenly being caught up in pornographic excess, ensnaring the most innocent of bystanders. Yet even the Supreme Court protects their lurid cravings. In a recent ruling, while constitutionally correct, the Court cleared the way for the porn industry to make virtual child pornography an issue of free speech. Whether a pedophile views real or virtual images on a computer screen, his victims will always be human.

Certainly, the anonymity of the home computer is contributing to the demise of moral standards but perhaps the root cause lies in our own mirrors. The old phrase, Sex rears its ugly head, has never been more apt and I blame my boomer generation for fomenting a sexually over stimulated society in search of eternal youth.

A nation hopped up on Viagra is simply not safe for children.

Copyright 2002 by Alicia Colon. Reprinted with permission of the author. Originally published inthe New York Sun. Not to be reproduced in any fashion, in whole or in part, without written consent from the author.

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