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9 Psychiatry Psychol. & L. 79 (2002)
Child Pornography and the Internet: Policing and Treatment Issues

handle is hein.journals/psylaw9 and id is 85 raw text is: Child Pornography and the Internet:
Policing and Treatment Issues
Anne Burke
Royal Adelaide Hospital, South Australia
Shawn Sowerbutts
Sexual Offenders Treatment and Assessment Program, South Australia
Barry Blundell and Michael Sherry
South Australian Police Department

A recent increase in the number of referrals for individuals who have accessed child pornography over the
Internet has led to a need for clinicians to familiarise themselves with the language and concepts associated
with this type of sexual offence. A brief review of the area highlights the legal dilemmas posed by the nature
of the Internet. While definitional issues are a primary focus in legal processes, a demonstrated sexual arousal to
children is more relevant in therapy. Modifications of traditional treatment approaches are suggested to facilitate
therapeutic progress for this population. Discussion focuses on the early motivation for treatment, cognitive distor-
tions, victim impact and cycles of offending behaviour. This work is offered as an early intervention to prevent
potential future progression to hands-on sexual offending against children.

Sex is the most searched topic on the Internet
(Cooper, Scherer, Boeis, & Gordon, 1999). In
cyber-space it is possible to discuss sex, see live sex
acts and arrange sexual activities in complete
privacy. Individuals can choose to participate in sex
related discussions on the chat channels, as well as
to exchange images with other users. Some child sex
offenders use these services to access, trade and
create child pornography, to meet and offend
against potential victims, to network with other
offenders, to profit financially and to locate individ-
uals with similar interests (Cullen 1997; Zwicke,
2000). However, according to O'Connell (2001),

the trading of child pornography/eiotica is perhaps
the most visible and distinctive feature of ped-
ophilic activity on the Internet.
Over recent times, an increased number of
referrals to the Sexual Offender Treatment and
Assessment Program (SOTAP) for individuals who
have accessed child pornography on the Internet,
has shown the need for clinicians to better under-
stand the language and concepts of the Internet
that are raised in the therapeutic context. In order
to more fully understand the process our clients
had followed in accessing child pornography on the
Internet, we called on the expertise of the Child

Presented at the ANZAPPL Conference, Melboume, 2001
Correspondence to: Shawn Sowerbutts, Sexual Offenders Treatment and Assessment Program (SOTAP), PO Box 2554, Kent
Town SA 5071. Australia Email: aburkelmail.rah.sgov.au or shawn.sowerbutts@dhs.sagov.au

VOLUME 9 NUMBER I 2O2 p. 79-4

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