A twenty-year-old named Amy was the victim of sexual child abuse from the age of 4 to 8.  She now seeks restitution, not from her abuser, but from the people who subsequently downloaded her pornographic images.  Amy’s uncle molested her  for many of her most formative and fragile years.  Like many child sexual abuse victims, she did not know right from wrong and trusted her uncle when he told her that this was the “normal thing adults do with children, that he loved her and that it was their special secret.”  Her uncle was ultimately arrested and imprisoned.

However, this story does not end here.  Her uncle photographed himself raping and molesting Amy then put the images on the Internet for all to see.  This allowed for perverted child pornography downloader’s to perpetually view Amy’s images.  She now suffers from depression, withdrawal, anxiety, and has a history of alcohol abuse.  According to the court filings, Amy is uneasy about being recognized in public by the people who subsequently downloaded images of her abuse.  Thus, Amy seeks restitution for the full amount of her lost income, past and future psychiatric treatment, loss of enjoyment of life, and attorney fees from the subsequent downloader’s for her perpetual re-victimization.

Are victims of Child Pornography Entitled to Restitution from Strangers Who Download the Victim’s Images?

Under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, the victim has the right to full and timely restitution.  Moreover, according to Amy’s attorney, James Marsh, under the restitution provisions of the Violence Against Women Act, a victim of child abuse can collect restitution not only from her abuser, but also from the people who subsequently downloaded her pornographic images.  Amy’s attorney has received at least 1,500 notices subsequent possession of Amy’s images.  Thus, Amy seeks restitution from all these subsequent downloader’s for re-victimizing her time and time again.

What to Do if You Have Been the Victim of Child Pornography

  • Seek help: Help is available!
  • Call the Child Help USA Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-2253)
  • Call the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) at 1-800-394-2255
  • Read about the Child Pornography Victim Assistance (CPVA) program
  • Hire an Attorney specializing in child abuse and sexual abuse

Child sexual abuse is a sensitive subject and much care is required when dealing with a victim of child abuse.  Victims of child abuse have been through a great deal of pain and suffering, and need proper representation to ensure their perpetrator is behind bars.

For quick answers about child sexual abuse, click here to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.