Module 5: Images Are Children


This module aims to help you explore and gain understanding of the following:

  • The false justifications offenders use to avoid responsibility for their actions
  • That these images are of real children being abused
  • The effects of being photographed on the children in the image 

Introduction: The Reality of Sexual Images

In order to allow yourself to access Sexual Images of Children, you will generally be using a number of  ‘self-justifications’ to persuade yourself that it is ok to do what you are doing. Self-justification describes how, when a person encounters a situation in which their behaviour is inconsistent with their beliefs, that person tends to justify the behaviour to allow themselves to continue what they are doing. You might at first be aware that you are using self-justifications to let yourself carry on looking at images, but these justifications might become subconscious over time, the more they are used.

Starting Point

Identify your current level of knowledge and understanding around your awareness of the child abuse taking place in these images (1 = very little understanding; 2 = some understanding; 3 = secure understanding).

I understand how illegal images victimise children. 1 2 3
I understand justifications I have used to allow myself to continue offending online. 1 2 3
I understand the effects of being photographed on the child in the image. 1 2 3

Regardless of where you have scored yourself, it is important to work through the material in this module. We find that if people accept the reality of the harm caused to children, then they are less likely to continue with their illegal online behaviour.



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