Michelle* was around five years old when her mother began to exploit her body and innocence.
Dropping her off at a studio, her mother would receive money from a man who sexually abused and posed Michelle for images and videos to sell online.
Though Michelle is now an adult in her twenties, the images of her abuse continue to haunt her to this day.
After her abusers were arrested and prosecuted years before, Michelle thought she was free of the childhood horror she survived.
Unfortunately, due to the amount of content taken and how far spread it was sold, each time one of Michelle’s images is identified in a new case she is forced to relive those moments.
Processed through NCMEC’s tool to identify victims in the abusive content, survivors of CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) are notified that another monster has obtained their images and is exploiting their younger selves.
In the Spring of 2023, Michelle experienced this cycle all over again.
Michelle was told that the fourteen-year-old daughter of a man had found images on his phone while searching for a song to play in the car.
Traumatized by what she saw, the daughter not only called the police but testified against her father.
Nearly 200 images of girls four to ten years old were found on his device.
To prosecute his case to the fullest extent, these images had to be shown to a jury, explicitly demonstrating the abuse of the girls along with the long-term effects that CSAM had on their mental and emotional health.
Michelle’s images were among the ones found.
Following his conviction at trial, the father had been sentenced and is now serving 50-100 years in prison.
The legacy he leaves behind – Child Sexual Abuse Material is not a victimless crime. The impact lasts for years for the victims involved, including the children like his daughter who are exposed to it.
*Name Changed to Protect the Survivor’s Identity and Dignity