Child sexual abuse in production and distribution
Children of all ages, including infants, are abused in the production of pornography. The United States Department of Justice estimates that pornographers have recorded the abuse of more than one million children in the United States alone. There is an increasing trend towards younger victims and greater brutality; according to Flint Waters, an investigator with the federal Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, "These guys are raping infants and toddlers. You can hear the child crying, pleading for help in the video. It is horrendous." According to the World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, "While impossible to obtain accurate data, a perusal of the child pornography readily available on the international market indicates that a significant number of children are being sexually exploited through this medium."
The United Kingdom children's charity NCH has stated that demand for child pornography on the Internet has led to an increase in sex abuse cases, due to an increase in the number of children abused in the production process. In a study analyzing men arrested for child pornography possession in the United States over a one-year period from 2000 to 2001, 83% had pornographic images of prepubescent children and 80% had images graphically depicting sexual penetration. 21% had images depicting violence such as bondage, rape, or torture and most of those involved images of children who were gagged, bound, blindfolded, or otherwise enduring sadistic sex. 39% had child-pornography videos with motion and sound. 79% also had images of nude or semi-nude children, but only 1% possessed such images alone. Law enforcement found that 48% had more than 100 graphic still images, and 14% had 1,000 or more graphic images. 40% were "dual offenders," who sexually victimized children and possessed child pornography.
A 2007 study in Ireland, undertaken by the Garda Síochána, revealed the most serious content in a sample of over 100 cases involving indecent images of children. In 44% of cases, the most serious images depicted nudity or erotic posing, in 7% they depicted sexual activity between children, in 7% they depicted non-penetrative sexual activity between adults and children, in 37% they depicted penetrative sexual activity between adults and children, and in 5% they depicted sadism or bestiality.
Masha Allen was adopted at age 5 from the former Soviet Union by an American man who sexually abused her for five years and posted the pictures on the Internet. She testified before the United States Congress about the anguish she has suffered at the continuing circulation of the pictures of her abuse, to "put a face" on a "sad, abstract, and faceless statistic," and to help pass a law named for her. "Masha's Law," included in the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act passed in 2006, includes a provision which allows young people 18 and over to sue in civil court those who download pornographic images taken of them when they were children. "Downloading" includes viewing without actual download; many successful prosecutions are completed through using residual images left on the viewer's computer.