@Radio_LJ Thank you. While the writing was fantastic and it was a gutsy story to tell, I was entirely distracted that this man was out hurting children for years. I am glad she told her sister though, to save her niece.
@Judith Slutler @Cat named Virtute
Yes, & perhaps even more importantly, we can't morally "require" someone to turn in their own father. I understand where the others are coming from on this thread and completely agree with them about how horrible and damaging this sort of crime is, but there is still something uniquely difficult and awful about turning in your own father that I don't think we can demand it of others, even if it is a morally better course of action.
@Cat named Virtute exactly. I can't fault the author for not reporting, to me it's a similar situation to the choice whether or not to report sexual assault. But yeah, not a victimless crime.
@ Cat Yes, yes, yes. It's complicity, and that's bad, even if it's passive.
@Radio_LJ Keep in mind that actual children are hurt by child pornography though, and that by buying, downloading, and distributing it, it creates and perpetuates that industry. If someone with a pedophilic fetish reaches out to a therapist, that therapist is required to notify the authorities if at any point they think that actual human minors might be hurt, which is exactly as it should be. I certainly don't deny that jail is not at all the best way to with people who struggle with this, but acquiring child pornography is NOT a victimless crime.
@Radio_LJ I will say (and Dan Savage has explored this on a few episodes) that I continue to be torn. Child pornography is illegal, dangerous, and certainly alarming. It can be a sign of other, more destructive behaviors. But we are not equipped in this country to do anything other than jail pedophiles, and that's not what some of them deserve. There are people out there who have struggled for years with what they know they want, but have never acted. Much like people with other fetishes that are unachievable , some of those people rely on pornography to release pressure. Many of them have never, ever touched a child. Yet, because of the way our legal system is constructed, they cannot reach out for help, or they will get jailed, even if they do not own child pornography (I know that is not the case here) and have never abused a child. We are doing these people a disservice.
@Radio_LJ Ahhhhhh god yes you are so right. I appreciate how much bravery it took to write this piece and how incredibly difficult it must have been, but my brain is just SCREAMING. The writer seems confident that her father never acted on anything, & sure he didn't take the pictures himself, but there isn't anything to support that being true except that he didnt abuse HER. I am not judging her reaction: how many teenagers could turn in their own dad? And everyone tells themselves what they need to live, you know? But Jesu Cristo he really should be thoroughly investigated.
For anyone reading this who might need this information, it IS illegal to possess child pornography. Even if he didn't take the pictures himself, simply storing the files on his computer, receiving them as downloads, accessing them on websites etc is all illegal under federal law. You can report these things to local police and to your state attorney general. Again, just posting this in case anyone reading this article is in a similar situation and doesn't know what to do.
Hi, I'm a stranger on the internet telling you that you made the right decision when you told your sister. My years in CPS inform my opinion that your niece is safer because of that decision. I'm sure we all feel better now.
Also, this was a very brave piece and very absorbing and well-written. Thank you.
After reading this, I sat here at my desk and stared off into space for a while, thinking. I don't know what to say other than thank you for sharing this with us.