400 counts. 400! That's how many the mother of a sweet four-year-old was guilty of -- how many pictures she sent of her own little girl. She is going away for a long, long, time. But while that keeps this woman from hurting her daughter further, this little girl will have memories that will haunt her throughout her life.
The Demand Project reports that child pornography is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. According to the FBI, there have been a 2500% increase in arrests in the past 10 years.
There are many equally disturbing statistics available, but I want to give you ways to help.
1. Report it: If you find child pornography on a computer or other electronic device, call the police. Confronting the individual will only cause them to threaten you and get rid of the evidence. Let the authorities handle it. CyberTipline
2. Donate to the Innocent Justice Foundation: Nearly 625,000 child pornography traders have been identified nationwide; however, only 61 Internet Crimes Against Children task forces have been allocated minimal funding to take them off the streets. That means that there are close to 11,000 offenders per team. Most ICAC teams can arrest 50-100 perpetrators per year. Arresting all of these child molesters they currently have located would take them 100-200 years. We need your help to get them the tools they need to do their jobs and the local, state and federal funding to make our neighborhoods safe again for our children. (innocentjustice.org)
3. Shelter the Victims and Families: As in the above 4-year-old's case, the children are often removed from their home. It's a bewildering time for them. Stuffed animals, comfy jammies, a craft kit to keep their mind occupied, a soft blanket or throw -- all these things are comforting to young children. One of Shelter: Postmarked members makes special pillowcases to send to children.
My goal in writing this post is not to sensationalize this sinful crime. It's bringing awareness, and offering a few ways we can shelter these innocent children. Sheltering isn't always fun. When we shelter, we are called to bear burdens, enter the pain and nightmares of voiceless victims. Ask our Heavenly Father to help you answer the call of "Who will go?"