Ohio Officer’s Blaming of 11-Year Old Survivor Prompts Outrage

A now-viral video of a Columbus, Ohio police officer’s handling of a child sexual abuse report is gaining national attention. On September 15, a father in Ohio called police to his house to report that his 11-year-old child was being coerced into making child sexual abuse material (CSAM) for an online predator. Doorbell camera footage caught the engagement with police officers, one of whom suggested it was the 11-year-old who would be charged with a crime. The story, covered by the Associated Press (AP), sheds distressing light on the challenges minor survivors and their advocates face when seeking justice.

RAINN President Scott Berkowitz told AP: "It was a complete failure on a legal level and on a human level. I don't know who immediately goes to blame a child in a situation like that. It's inconceivable."

Understanding CSAM

Understanding CSAM and the role that people can play in reporting it is critical to reducing its prevalence. CSAM encompasses explicit images, videos, or any other content depicting minors engaged in sexual activities. Possessing, distributing, or producing CSAM is illegal. For further reading, refer to RAINN's comprehensive article on What is Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).

Where can parents and caregivers report child sexual abuse material and get help?

  • Report CSAM to the CyberTipline online or by calling 1-800-843-5678. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation.
  • Familiarize yourself with your state’s mandatory reporting laws by visiting RAINN’s State Law Database.
  • Watch Lean on Me, RAINN’s video resource for parents and caregivers to learning more about preventing sexual abuse of a minor. Call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 800.4.A.CHILD (422-4453).
  • Learn more about RAINN's advocacy for legislation to prevent and prosecute Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).

To speak with someone who is trained to help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.RAINN.org or hotline.RAINN.org/es for Spanish.