Andy was addicted to viewing child pornography online.
The former offender says he knew it was wrong but did not consider himself guilty.
“Because I was looking at these images online, I felt like I wasn’t the abuser, someone else was the abuser and I didn’t have a victim,” he said. he told Sky News.
“I pretty much convinced myself that what I was doing wasn’t so bad.”
Andy is not his real name. Speaking anonymously, he told Sky News how he developed his addiction.
“I found myself in a very dark place surrounded by bad emotions: anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness, depression. leads to illegal images.”
Like thousands of people across the UK, Andy developed an addiction to viewing illegal child sexual abuse content online. It was only when the police intervened that he stopped.
“There was a knock on the door and the police were there and they confiscated my equipment. I was asked to go to the police station for questioning.
“I just admitted everything and in a way I felt a little relieved that I could actually stop what I was doing.”
Andy will eventually serve a prison sentence, during which he says he reflected on his behavior. However, getting help to overcome her addiction came long after.
“I still had some deep issues in my life and until they were sorted out I was never going to be in the right frame of mind to deal with my addictions,” he said.
“I lost contact with several family members, but I had family members who were there to help and form a support group.
“I can’t go back, I can only wish I could. I didn’t seek help until it was too late for me, but I honestly believe that if I had gone to Stop It Now a lot sooner, I would have never gone to jail,” he says, referring to a campaign by the Lucy Faithful Foundation, which is dedicated to reducing the risk of child sexual abuse.
The foundation says the number of people seeking help to stop viewing sexual images under the age of 18 more than doubled in 2021. More than 165,000 people sought help through its Stop It Now! countryside.
Donald Findlater, director of the campaign’s hotline, says the crime is being committed by ordinary people.
“Most of the time the tens of thousands of people in the UK who view child sexual images online don’t conform to stereotypes – they are our friends, family, neighbors and colleagues.
“Many of the people who contact our helpline have simply started looking at mainstream adult pornography sites, but over time have discovered that they need different or more extreme content. not the law and need it clarified a long-standing sexual interest in children and thinks that viewing “just pictures” is a way to deal with this interest.
“Everyone should know that it is illegal to view sexual images and videos under the age of 18; that it harms children; that serious consequences await those involved; but that our helpline and website Web offer anonymous and confidential stop-and-stay-stop support and advice.”