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AUSTRALIA'S anti-child exploitation laws have again been shown to be lenient.

An American pedophile has been sentenced to 21 years in jail for abusing and
photographing a toddler, weeks after his Canberra cohort was jailed for a quarter of
the time for doing the same to four children.

Larry Howard, 42, was yesterday sentenced in a Kansas City court to 21 years and
10 months in a US federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of producing
child pornography in taking pictures of a two-year-old girl and trading them on the

US authorities arrested Howard after federal police in the ACT last year charged a
Canberra public servant with uploading child exploitation material to the picture-
trading website,

The 41-year-old -- who cannot be named -- was sentenced in August to seven years
jail, and must serve a minimum of 4 1/2 years after pleading guilty to 13 counts of
indecency against children, using a child to produce child pornography and
transmitting child pornography.

News_Image_File: Toronto detective Paul Krawczyk blasts our lenient

sentences.Canada has mandatory sentences of at least 14 days in jail for
anyone caught in possession of child abuse material and a year for production
or distribution.

Internet chat rooms are often used by paedophiles to indulge in sexual fantasies
(Aftab 2000). Sellier (2001) reports that over 23,000 sites and 40,000 openly
advertised chat rooms are devoted to the defence of adult-child sexual relations.
One prominent paedophile group that has developed an Internet presence is the
North American Men/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). The stated goal for this
organisation is "to end the extreme oppression of men and boys in mutually
consensual relationships" by "building understanding and support for such
relationships" and "educating the general public on the benevolent nature of
man/boy love" (NAMBLA 2001).

Exposure of children to inappropriate material

In the Australian Broadcasting Authority's (ABA 2001b) study of children's exposure
to offensive material on the Internet, it was reported that 47 per cent of young
persons aged 11-17 years had unintentionally accessed material on the Internet that
they found to be "offensive or disgusting". This material was mainly pornographic in
nature, but also included nudity, "rude stuff", tasteless jokes, talk in chat rooms and
violent imagery (ABA 2001b).

Protection for "at risk" children

research has suggested that children with certain characteristics, particularly those
who have been victimised previously, will be the most adversely impacted by
exposure to offensive material on the Internet. As previous trauma may have led to
an adverse developmental impact on these children, they are less likely to have the
resources to appropriately handle and/or divert offensive material and inappropriate
approaches (Harter 1998). Perhaps not surprisingly, multiply traumatised children
who may have experienced dysfunctional personal relationships previously, may be
particularly severely affected by access to inappropriate and offensive material.
Sexual predators do not overlook the vulnerability of this group of children (Mitchell,
Finkelhor and Wolak 2001).

The sexual exploitation of children is not a new problem, but one that persists and will continue to
persist into the future. It is important to consider the past, present and future criminal sexual
exploitation of children separately.
To understand

Bromfield and Vassallos (2010) summary of Australian prevalence studies estimates that
four to eight percent of males and seven to 12 percent of females experience penetrative
child sexual abuse and 12 to 16 percent of males and 23 to 36 percent of females
experience non-penetrative child sexual abuse.

Context the nature of sexual offending

Current legal responses to dangerous offenders in Australia and overseas have attracted criticism for
ignoring the realities of sexual and violent offending and focusing disproportionate attention on
some offenders over others typically those who have committed offences outside the family (see,
for example, Simon and Zgoba, 2006, pp.86-87). While community concern and public fear are
typically concentrated on the stranger danger that lies at the heart of many legislative changes seen
in various countries in recent years, the reality of sexual offending is very different.

The 2005 National Personal Safety Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
found that only 11% of those who experienced sexual abuse before the age of 15 years reported
being abused by a stranger, compared to 45% reporting abuse by a relative, and 32% abuse by an
acquaintance, neighbour or someone else known to them. The most common age at which the
sexual abuse of females began was between the ages of eleven and fourteen (32%), although a
further 22% reported abuse starting at age 7-8, 19% reported abuse starting at age 5-6 and 16%
reported abuse starting at age 9-10. Alarmingly, 10% of female victims of childhood sexual abuse
reported that their victimisation began at age 3-4. A similar pattern was found for males, with 33%
of victims of childhood sexual abuse reporting that the abuse started at age 11-14 (Australian
Bureau of Statistics, 2006d, p.42).

During the most recent incident in the previous 12 months, women who were victims of sexual
violence tended to be young, with 30.7% being aged 18-24 and 29.8% being aged 25-34. Only
14.9% were aged 45 and over. A similar pattern was found for male victims, with almost 90% aged
18-44 years. Women were victimised by family or friends 39% of the time (representing 39,700
people) and by some other known person[i] 32% of the time (32,500 people). Strangers accounted
for 21.8% (or 22,100 people) of most recent victimisations for adult women. Men were also more
likely to be victimised by family or friends (43.7% or 18,500 people) or by some other known
person (35.1% or 14,900 people). This pattern is even more pronounced for victimisation since the
age of 15, with 45.5% of all victims (or 753,300 people) reporting violence at the hands of family or
friends and 31.1% (or 518,000 people) at the hands of some other known person (Australian Bureau
of Statistics, 2006d, p.33).

In a study of self-reported sexual offending by 182 men sentenced for sexual offences against
children, 56.5% reported that they lived with the victim at the time of the offence, with a further
36.9% reporting that they had known the child at the time of the offence. Only 6.5% stated that the
victim was a stranger (Wortley and Smallbone, 2006).

Official police figures from 2003 show that approximately 30% of male and female victims of

sexual assault before the age of 14 had been assaulted by a parent figure, [ii] with a further 11.4%
being assaulted by a sibling or some other related family member. A non-family member known to
the victim was the perpetrator in 20% of reported incidents. Girls were slightly more likely to have
known the offender (63% of victims) than were boys (59% of victims). Overall, nearly 62% of
victims of childhood sexual assault who reported the incident(s) to police knew their offender(s).
Only 6.3% of child sexual assault offenders in these data were unknown to the victim (7% for girls
and 5% for boys) (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2004, p.49). The table below further illustrates
these data.

[i] Other known person includes acquaintance, neighbour, counsellor or psychologist or

psychiatrist, ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, doctor, teacher, minister, priest or clergy and prison
officer (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006d, Personal Safety Australia, 2005, Catalogue
4906.0, p.33).

[ii] Data from the Personal Safety Survey suggest that this 30% is likely to be almost entirely
fathers or step-fathers, rather than mothers or step-mothers (Australian Bureau of Statistics,
2006d, Personal Safety Australia, 2005, Catalogue 4906.0, p.42).

Adolescent sex offenders are more responsive to treatment than adults. They do not appear to
continue to re-offend into adulthood, especially when provided with appropriate treatment
(Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, 2000)

Adults abused during childhood are: - more than twice as likely to have at least one lifetime
psychiatric diagnosis - almost three times as likely to have an affective disorder - almost three times
as likely to have an anxiety disorder - almost 2 times as likely to have phobias - over ten times as
likely to have a panic disorder - almost four times as likely to have an antisocial personality
disorder (Stein, Golding, Siegel, Burnam & Sorenson, 1988) 71% to 90% of adolescent and teenage
girls and 23% to 42% of adolescent and teenage boys in a Maine inpatient substance-abuse
treatment program reported histories of childhood-sexual abuse. (Rohsenow, Corbett & Devine,
50 to 70% of all women and a substantial number of men treated in psychiatric settings have
histories of sexual or physical abuse, or both. (Craine, Henson & Colliver 1988) Most self-injurers
have childhood histories of physical or sexual abuse. 40% of persons who self-injure are men.
(Briere & Runtz, 1988) As high as 81% of men and women in psychiatric hospitals with a variety of
major mental illness diagnoses, have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse. 67% of these men
and women were abused as children. (Jacobson & Richardson, 1987)

han those without such problems. (Clark, McClanahan & Sees, 1997) 35 Links to Crime A
substantial proportion of detained youth also report the experience of specific types of childhood
maltreatment, including physical (65-75%) and sexual abuse (10- 40%) (Moore, Gaskin & Indig,
2013) 80 to 85 per cent of women in Australian prisons have been victims of incest or other forms
of abuse; a study of 27 correctional centres in New South Wales found that 65 per cent of male and
female prisoners were victims of child sexual and physical assault; and the New South Wales Child
Protection Council reported in 1992 that the probability of future delinquency, adult criminality and
arrest for a violent crime increased by around 40 percent for people assaulted and neglected as
children. (Hansard, 2002a) 70% of prisoners were abused as children. (Queensland Childrens
Commission, 1997) Prostitution A 1997 Australian Federal survey showed that 25 percent (of
prostitutes) had been sexually assaulted as children. (Knight Ridder Newspapers; Mark McDonald
AAP News 29.9.00) Hundreds of homeless children become prostitutes to survive on the streets.
The Federal Human Rights Commission (Courier Mail Jan 1987) during a hearing in Cairns, was
told by Cairns Anglican Youth Service Director Rev. Gordon King, (previously and subsequently
convicted child sex offender) that 60 boys aged under 14 had been involved with prostitution in
Cairns over 3 years. He estimated that of the 500 homeless children in Cairns, 300 had been
involved in some degree of prostitution. (Queensland Childrens Commission, 1997)

The Costs Last year with Access Economics and Monash University, we found that child abuse
costs the Australian community between $10 billion and $30 billion each year. (Australian
Childhood Foundation media release, 3rd September 2009) Earlier this year, Access Economics
released the results of a study that estimated the cost of domestic violence to the Australian
community at a staggering $8.1million each year. (Bradford, M., Qld Centre for Domestic and
Family Violence Research, CDFVR Newsletter, Dec 2005) More than half of the annual $8.1billion
costs are carried by the victims of domestic violence ($4.1billion), followed by the community
($1.2billion), Federal Government ($848million), children ($769million) and perpetrators of
domestic violence ($555million). (Bradford, M., Qld Centre for Domestic and Family Violence
Research, CDFVR Newsletter, Dec 2005) The study identified the total health costs for victims at
$362million, followed by $17million for children and $9.1million for perpetrators of domestic
violence. Again, children carry more of the health cost burden for domestic violence than the
perpetrators. (Bradford, M., Qld Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research, CDFVR
Newsletter, Dec 2005) The cost of child abuse and neglect has been calculated at a total of
$4,929million. This is broken down to $1,048m for human cost (fatal abuse, suicide, medical costs,
injury, medical services, psychological trauma), $1,944m for long term human and social costs
(medical service usage, health problems, loss of productivity, delinquency, criminality,
homelessness, substance misuse, intergenerational abuse), $1,821m for public sector intervention
(child protection services, prevention & intervention programs, law enforcement, judicial system,
incarceration & treatment of offenders, victim support, and $114m for community sector responses
(services provided by community services). (Kids First, 2004) In South Australia, the Department of
Human Services conservatively estimated the cost of child abuse and neglect in 1995-96 to be $354
million. Over the same period, that figure is more than the State earned from the sale of both its
wine ($318 million) or its wool and sheepskins ($239 million). (Hansard, 2002a)

An Australian study funded by a Criminology Research Council Grant, conservatively estimated the
(tangibles) cost to society of csa to be in excess of $180,000 per child. (Briggs, 1999). Research
consistently shows that approximately one in five children are sexually assaulted before their 18th
birthday. (James, 2000; Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006). Extrapolating Australian
population statistics in context with the indisputable research reveals that approximately 59,000
Australian kids will be harmed each year at a cost of around $10.44 billion annually. (Bravehearts
Inc 2000) A recent Australian study funded by a Criminology Research Council Grant,
conservatively estimates the (tangibles) cost to society of child sexual assault to be in excess of
$180,000 per child. (Briggs, 1999) At a national level, the ABCI conservatively estimates 40,000
Australian children will be sexually abused each year. Thats $7.2 Billion dollars worth of damage.

Australians rank child abuse 13th on a list of community issues, behind rising petrol prices and
problems with public transport. (Australian Childhood Foundation, 2006) 1 in 6 (16%) of
respondents were unclear about whether or not sex between a 14 year old and an adult would
constitute sexual abuse. (Australian Childhood Foundation, 2006) 31% of Australians would not
believe children if they reported that they were being abused. (Australian Childhood Foundation,
2006) 1/5 of Australians believed that well-educated parents did not abuse their children.
(Australian Childhood Foundation, 2006) 80% of respondents believed prison sentences for
convicted sex offenders were too lenient. Nearly 95% said treatment programs should be
mandatory. (Australian Childhood Foundation, 2006) 1 in 3 Australians would not believe children
if they disclosed they were being abused. (Australian Childhood Foundation, 2009) 1 in 5 lacked
the confidence to know what to do if they suspected that a child was being abused or neglected
(Australian Childhood Foundation, 2009) 90% of adults surveyed believed that the community
needs to be better informed about the problem of child abuse in Australia (Australian Childhood
Foundation, 2009) Unless they come face to face with the issue, collectively Australians rate petrol
prices, public transport and roads as issues of greater concern than child abuse (Australian
Childhood Foundation, 2009) 86% of Australian believed that Commonwealth and State
Governments should invest more money in protecting children from abuse and neglect. (Australian
Childhood Foundation, 2009) A substantial majority of parents believed that child abuse was both a
serious problem in Australia (77%) and an issue which the community needed to better understand
(93%). (Tucci, Goddard & Mitchell, 2004).