Unfortunately, it is no longer uncommon for a spouse or a parent to discover that someone in their home has been viewing pornography on a home computer, calling for some very uncomfortable conversations. In and of itself, this is usually a disturbing and disappointing discovery. But once in a while, the discovery is even more disconcerting: the images are of children or youth.

What everyone needs to know is that even accessing child pornography is a criminal offence in Canada.

Some people assume that just looking at these images is a neutral activity. In reality, under the Criminal Code(Canada), it is illegal to:

  • make child pornography (includes make, print, publish, possess for the purpose of publication)
  • distribute child pornography (includes transmit, make available, distribute, sell, advertise, import, export or possess for the purpose of transmission, making available, distribution, sale, advertising or exportation)
  • possess child pornography, or
  • access child pornography. 1

When a person finds this material, they are legally obligated to report their finding to the police. In Canada, you should call your local police department or file a report on the website Cybertip.ca.

Failure to report such a discovery – or attempts to delete or cover it up – could leave you liable to criminal charges if the material is on your home computer, tablet, phone or any other technology.

What was once considered only the responsibility of mandated reporters (such as doctors, counsellors, pastors, teachers, etc.), is now everyone’s responsibility. Anyone who knows of someone using child pornography has a duty to report it, in the interest of protecting children from exploitation and abuse.

Not only is this the right thing to do legally, it is the right thing to do Biblically. We are encouraged throughout Scripture to join with God in protecting the vulnerable and rescuing the needy. Consider this passage: "Your job is to stand up for the powerless, and prosecute all those who exploit them." (Psalm 82:4 The Message)

1. Source: Cybertip.ca

© 2015 Focus on the Family (Canada) Association. All rights reserved.

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