We are committed to eliminating unlawful sexual images of minors, also known as child sexual abuse material (CSAM), child sexual exploitation material (CSEM), or child pornography. But unlike other groups, we don’t believe that this can be done through law enforcement or technology alone. As a human problem, we have to take account of the humanity of its perpetrators and to offer a nuanced solution that addresses them in their complexity.
Technological tools and mental health support for potential perpetrators of image abuse are complementary interventions. Here’s how Prostasia is working on eliminating the use of abuse images, and how you can help.
Technology: scanning for unlawful images in Rocketchat chat groups
We provide a unique open source solution for administrators of Rocketchat chat groups, to enable them to scan for and quarantine known unlawful images automatically. The GitHub repository for this software is available below.
Support for mental wellness: MAP Support Club
Prostasia Foundation is the institutional partner of a peer-support group called MAP Support Chat, which is dedicated to providing a safe space for those who have unchosen sexual feelings that can lead towards the use of unlawful images of minors. MAP Support Club also provides access to professional support that can reduce offending behavior, and harm to self or others. Our Rocketchat CSAM scanning tool is utilized in MAP Support Club, for which it was originally developed.
Before 2012, the only way that people with sexual attraction towards minors (MAPs) became visible was if they entered the criminal justice or child welfare systems. There were small organizations that hosted the first peer support networks, like B4U-Act, but it still came as a surprise even to many professionals when in June of 2012,…
Over the last four decades or so—the course of my life—we have seen an ever-growing awareness of the effects of childhood abuse and, in particular, the effects of sexual abuse. We feel a strong need to protect children. The world is outraged about child sexual abuse in a way it was not in the sixties,…