The Attorney Manual to Guide Representation of Children Victimized by the Online Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material

This Manual was created as a joint project between the National Center for Missing &
Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the generous pro bono support of Jones Day. The Manual is
intended to be used both as a resource guide for attorneys experienced in representing children
victimized by the online circulation of sexually abusive material and as an introduction to this area
of law for attorneys who are representing a victim for the first time.

A victim of child pornography has the legal right to have his or her voice heard in criminal
and civil proceedings in both federal or state court and also to seek monetary compensation from
every offender who views, possesses, or distributes sexually abusive images or videos depicting
the victim. Victims are much more likely to have access to recovery services and to obtain
restitution when they are represented by lawyers who are familiar with the legal and support
resources available to their clients.

The victimization a child experiences when images or videos taken of the rape and sexual
abuse the child suffered are circulated online is different in scope, impact, and legal complexity
from any other personal injury. While the victim in this type of case is always a child when he or
she is harmed, your client may be the parent or guardian of the child or the now-adult child victim.
Or, due to the devastating and continuing nature of this crime, your client may transition from the
parent or guardian to the victim when he or she reaches the age of majority.

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