For victims of child pornography the abuse continues, even after the primary abuser has been caught and prosecuted. This is because images and video of children being sexually abused are often shared between thousands of people online.
Amy* is a victim of child pornography living in the United States. When she was just nine years old, Amy was raped by her uncle, who documented and shared the abuse online. Now a young adult, Amy receives a court notification when someone has been arrested for viewing sexual abuse materials of her. These notifications arrive almost every day.
“It is hard to describe what it feels like to know that at any moment, anywhere, someone is looking at pictures of me as a little girl being abused by my uncle and is getting some kind of sick enjoyment from it,” Amy wrote in a victim impact statement. “It’s like I am being abused over and over and over again.”
Amy is seeking compensation for the damages she has suffered as a result of her images being viewed. In January, the US Supreme Court will decide what amount of compensation Amy is entitled to from the men who viewed her abuse.
ECPAT International, in partnership with ECPAT-USA, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Doyle Randall Paroline v. Amy Unknown and United States. ECPAT’s brief aims to give some background for the Court on the context of online child pornography, including the global scale of the problem, the harm caused to the victims, and the international legal framework in this area. ECPAT asks the Court to rule in favour of Amy, giving victims of child sexual exploitation in the United States the right to restitution from their abuser(s).
*As referred to in the case Doyle Randall Paroline v. Amy Unknown and United States.