Child Abuse Is A Worldwide Problem, That's Why Every Bust Counts

In Germany, police have arrested the man behind Elysium, a child pornography website with over 87,000 members. But there's still much progress to be made.

Child abuse is a worldwide issue, affecting children in the United States and abroad.

According to the World Health Organization, one in five women and one in 13 men have reported being sexually abused as children. Child maltreatment can have long-term repercussions on someone's mental and physical health, as high levels of stress can take their toll on nervous and immune systems. 

In particular, technology has helped contribute to an "alarming growth of new forms of child sexual exploitation online," according to the United Nations. Over 750,000 child predators are expected to be online at all times, according to The Associated Press

That's why every bust counts toward stopping the problem.

Right outside of Frankfurt, Germany, police have caught and arrested a man running a child pornography site called "Elysium," which had 87,000 members, according to BBC. On the site, members could exchange images and videos, as well as make appointments to sexually abuse children.

On the platform "were recordings of the most serious sexual abuse of children, including toddlers and depiction of sexual violence against children," according to a statement by the Frankfurt public prosecutor's office and BKA Federal Police, Reuters reported.

Sad child

Prosecutors have also arrested several of the members in Germany and Austria. 

The site appeared on the dark web in December of last year but quickly accumulated a large membership. These sites cannot be found through regular search engines.

Just a month earlier, the Philippines National Bureau arrested a man who ran a webcam cybersex child abuse site that had customers in the United States and Australia. Some of the children he abused had been trafficked by their parents who were promised their kids would earn a better life. 

"It's not just a virtual crime," Sam Inocencio, a human rights attorney, said to the AP. "It is an actual crime. Online sexual exploitation is possibly the most evil thing that I've seen."

If you suspect a child is being abused or come across one of these sites, report it immediately. There are numerous resources, but two are Darkness to Light and American SPCC.

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