“Do not forget the victims!”

With the call "Do not forget the victims!" abuse victims have appealed to politicians not to lose sight of the actual victims in the current debate about child pornography allegations against a former member of the Bundestag.

In light of investigations into ex-Bundestag member Sebastian Edathy (SPD) for possession of child pornography, representatives of abuse victims warn against a one-sided debate. The victims' initiative "Eckiger Tisch" called on politicians and the media in Berlin on Sunday not to lose sight of the victims' perspective in the discussion about the case.

In the current discussion, the many hundreds of children who were violated in their human dignity or sexually abused for the creation of the child pornographic "material", unfortunately played no role, criticized Jacqueline Ehmke from the steering committee of the "Fund Sexual Abuse" supported by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs. "Because there are adults who want to see children in sexualized poses and during sexual abuse, children are photographed or filmed." Non-indexed footage is also produced with high criminal energy because adults want to view naked children in supposedly "natural" situations, Ehmke further explained. "Also thereby children are hurt in their human dignity massively."

Edathy: "Clearly legal"

Edathy had been on the 6. February his Bundestag mandate resigned. The 44-year-old is accused of possessing pictures of unclothed boys between the ages of 9 and 14. The public prosecutor's office in Hanover spoke of a "borderline area to what justice understands by child pornography". In an interview with "Der Spiegel" (Monday), Edathy admitted to having obtained "material" from a Canadian company that he had, however, considered "clearly legal". The catch, according to which in his behavior is no crime, had meanwhile "several authorities confirmed in writing".

The "Eckige Tisch" pointed to reports that the image files showed mostly children from Romania and Ukraine. "We call on German foreign policy to offer assistance to the authorities of the affected countries in supporting the victims and to make assistance and support for victims a topic within the framework of European cooperation," the affected persons' initiative said.

The right to one's own image

Child pornography is also being produced for the German market in countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America, explained Adrian Koerfer of the "Glasbrechen" victims' group and Winfried Ponsens of the "Abuse Victims Collegium Josephinum Bonn and Redemptorists" association: "We call on the German government to offer help for victims there as well within the framework of development cooperation."Finally, the groups urge a debate on how the right to one's own image could be strengthened in Germany for the victims of such portrayals and made more punishable under criminal law.

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