Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Use of the term ‘child p0rn’

We have received this submission by email and removed identifying details as requested:

"I think you have a great page and campaign there, am totally with you on the way the media reports with so much prejudice day in day out - both in the UK and worldwide. Having worked with other campaigners over the last few years, most of my dealings with the media has been with the way they report on Child sex offences. Can't believe how hard it is for them to accept the offensive way they write articles, or the ignorance shown by them when questioned about it.

I haven't done much for the last few months, it gets a little frustrating when you either get no response, or you get responses like the one below. What makes it worse, is looking into it a little further, and seeing how other countries and organisations around the world use language like this not only in their media, but in their laws as well - how can I counter the UK media when it is used world-wide, much as I would love to.

Some of the papers have been more than understanding - the Guardian used my argument in a piece here, and went as far as changing their style guide to reflect this, however endings like this are too far between to have an impact UK-wide.
The PCC has been a total waste of time each time I have complained, and the BBC are no better (I have been through their basic complaints system right up to the board of trustees of the BBC trust with no success). Even working with other campaigners has been no better in getting actual results, which is quite depressing to be honest.

If there is anything I can do please let me know - I have lots of replies in e-mail form from all over the place, but am a bit confused as to whether or not I can use them as I don't know if I am allowed to send them on, hence me removing the papers name from the below. Anything I can do I will, I really think the way that some crimes are reported and the language used is unacceptable and really needs to change.



To: Richard

Richard, thank you for your many emails, but I think you're slightly missing the point over the term child porn. .... is a populist newspaper and we try to use concise, widely used terms such as child porn so that our readers will understand what we are referring to, as do many other newspapers, magazines and news organisations who use the same term. I appreciate your argument but to the paedophiles who view indecent images of children it is a form of pornography, and they treat it as so, thus to use the term 'child porn' doesn't lessen the crime committed it simply explains what it is to these offenders. I think if you asked most right-minded people what child porn means to them they would automatically know it has a negative connotation and is something associated with and enjoyed by sick paedophiles, I find it hard to believe that the vast majority of people have considered for one second that the term trivialises child abuse. Pornography is defined as "the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction". Paedophiles seek sexual gratification from images of children, while the rest of us can see such images for what they are, vile criminal acts, unfortunately they don't.
Now I'm sure you will come back with several more reasons why we shouldn't use the term, but I suggest we agree to differ as this email has taken up way too much of my time already."



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3 thoughts on “Use of the term ‘child p0rn’

  • Admin says:

    Thank you for submitting this. We agree with you on the use of child p0rn – in fact, we had a submission last week saying similar things.
    The term ‘child p0rn0graphy’ is used in legislation – and is on our ‘Campaign for Change’ list.

  • Dani says:

    I have never looked at it like this before but totally understand where your coming from. I retweeted the Guardian article and will suggest people use “child abuse images” in future should the subject come up.

  • Diane Robertson Martin says:

    How arrogant he is to say that the email has taken up too much of his time already!