Online child abuse: First a look, then a touch too far

Is the internet encouraging child porn viewers to take their perversity a step further, asks Tom Allard.It’s a question that has troubled investigators and psychologists grappling with the explosion of web-enabled sexual crimes against children.Has the internet opened a window on to a world of abuse that always existed? Or is it creating a new, much larger generation of offenders who not only view others’ images of children being abused, but also engage in horrific acts against youngsters?There are no definitive answers, but the research is pointing toward the latter assessment, a conclusion that raises disturbing implications for law enforcement, for law makers and community safety.

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