Mixed reaction to help for porn users

Proposals to encourage internet child pornography users to seek
help have received a mixed response from children’s
charities.

Child protection charity The Lucy Faithfull Foundation has put
forward the idea of those who have used web child pornography
contacting the organisation for help without the threat of
prosecution.

The idea would be to provide sex offender treatment for people
concerned about their behaviour and who might otherwise go on to
abuse a child.

Charity deputy director Donald Findlater said calls to its helpline
had shown that fear of prosecution was preventing people from
getting help.

He said people who voluntarily gave their computer hard drive to
police would be put on the sex offenders register and
cautioned.

In a statement, NCH said the fact that child pornography was the
photographic evidence of child abuse should not be
downplayed.

It added that the plan should only be given the go-ahead after
extensive consultation but could be effective as part of a
programme of solutions.

But the NSPCC questioned the message an amnesty would send to
children who have been sexually abused and whose images are already
on the internet. It called for sex abusers to be prosecuted as well
as given treatment.

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