“Amy” (as she was asked to be called for sake of privacy) stood in a court of law in front of her uncle — the reason for her tainted childhood — trying to prevent him from being released from prison. She was first sexually abused when she was four years old.
“I am a 19-year-old girl and I am a victim of child sex abuse and child pornography.”
A constant reminder of what she was put through at a young age plagues her memory: a collection of sexually explicit photographs and videos.
The collection of tapes runs through age four to nine. To this day, her images and videos are still widely viewed across the Internet.
In many cases—similar to Amy’s—the abuser is somebody close to the victim, who holds access to the child.
Raven Kaliana was forced into child pornography by her parents. She vaguely recalls being dropped off at a professional photo studio, being left with a child pornographer and raped in front of a camera moments later—all at the age of four.
Throughout elementary school, Kaliana was dropped off at photo studios during vacations or long weekends.
In many cases, images are beyond sexual photographs. Around 44 percent of them involve bondage or sadomasochism with children.
“Around the time I was 11, my value started going down because I was beginning to look more like an adult,” Kaliana says. “So they started putting me in more dangerous films, things involving torture or gang rape or extreme fetishes.”
Raven Kaliana and Amy are just a couple among the numerous cases of child sex abuse.
Around 76 percent of children in child pornography have been abused before reaching puberty; 24 percent, after. The remaining 10 percent is made up of infants and toddlers.
It would be extremely rare to find child pornography on public websites. The issue is hidden in the dark web, making it even more difficult to find victims.
In 2011, law enforcement authorities in the U.S. discovered 22 million images and videos of child pornography and submitted them to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to identify the victims.
Kaliana was able to escape her parents’ control in college, and now works to fight child abuse—something that has traumatized not only her, but Amy as well.
“I am still discovering all the ways that the abuse and exploitation I suffer has hurt me, has set my life on the wrong course, and destroyed the normal childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood that everyone deserves.” Amy admits.
Kaliana has produced a film featuring puppets in order to raise awareness for the growing issue of child sexual abuse. This film also encourages victims to speak up about their situations.
Visit her website to join her on her mission of fighting childhood trauma at outspiral.org.uk