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Child Pornography Hurts
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In a perfect world we would all be motivated to seek justice for the weak. In a perfect world, it wouldn’t require personal tragedy to push us to action. In a perfect world, though, we wouldn’t need to seek justice at all. Unfortunately for Charlene Doak-Gebauer, Founder and Chair of Child Pornography Hurts, we don’t live in a perfect world and two tragedies, one quite personal, has taken her life in a different direction than she imagined.

A close relative of Charlene's had been abused at the age of four by neighbors who were outwardly pillars of the community, but in fact, were using the little girl for the production of child pornography. The little girl’s parents did a great job of raising her, but the daughter had been groomed by the neighbors and kept quiet. It was only an alert baby sitter who thought something was wrong that led to the discovery that the little girl was being abused.

When the abusive neighbours became suspicious that they were being discovered, they moved away. The little girl's family was told by the authorities that they didn't have the time to go through the stacks of tape they found in a secret room in the new house of the perpetrator neighbours.

The little girl grew into a lovely young woman with a beautiful son. She experienced a second major crime - a drunk driver killed her at the age of 22. Charlene filed for incorporation of Child Pornography Hurts the day after the drunk driver who killed her young relative was convicted in her death (May 2014). The Canadian Charities Directorate, January 14, 2015, gave charitable status to Child Pornography Hurts.

The second tragedy to affect Charlene was when she discovered child pornography on a workplace computer, the details of which Charlene avoids telling at this time. Prosecution did not take place. Witnessing child pornography was devastating for Charlene but it emphasized further the trauma that her relative had experienced.

"The overall crime rate in Canada has dropped 8% since 2012, yet the crime of child pornography has risen 40% annually according to StatsCan," says Doak-Gebauer. "The majority of child pornography is not detected because it is normally a family member or someone they’ve been trained to trust who are committing the crime. Few adults report abuse they’ve been through. Children are afraid and naive regarding the abusive behaviour; very few of them report anything."

"The vision of Child Pornography Hurts is to provide the cost of therapy so victims can become survivors. Also, we are fighting to end child pornography in a proactive approach by educating parents, teachers, therapists, even church workers and the like so that they can realize the risks in the digitized environment and work towards preventing the success of perpetrators."

Unfortunately, the explosion of the Internet and the proliferation of hand-held devices have led to a corresponding explosion of the accessibility of child pornography. Parents often feel helpless to intervene, or even understand, how their children may be in danger on social media. To this end, CPH teaches “Internet Sense For Internet Safety," a copyrighted presentation.

"Parents need to have a strong determination to protect their children through a digitized supervision. Parents need to be trained regarding the risks in the Internet and in social media, and be involved in their child's usage of it."

"Child pornography is more prevalent through the Internet because it's much easier to access, both pictures and videos. Understand, that if you find child pornography on a computer, it is not an accident, it is a crime. You need to call the police immediately."

If you are an educator, a parent, or someone that is involved in the lives of children in some way, become educated about this epidemic we face, and how you can guard against its’ scourge. Call Charlene at Child Pornography Hurts at (519) 854-1249 or contact her via email at: