Police discontinue use of term child pornography

Abbotsford law enforcement will now use “images of child sexual abuse” or “images of child sexual assault” in order to be more accurate.

The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) has discontinued the use of the words “child pornography” in its communications, in keeping with a resolution passed by two other organizations.

Instead, the APD will refer to “images of child sexual abuse” or “images of child sexual assault,” except when referring to the section of the Criminal Code that addresses “child pornography.”

The matter was approved at the recent monthly meeting of the Abbotsford Police Board.

Deputy Chief Len Goerke brought the issue to the board, based on a resolution previously initiated and approved by the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW).

The matter has also been passed by the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police, of which Goerke is vice-president.

Goerke said using the word “pornography” is inaccurate and “undermines the reality of the situation.”

“We’re sanitizing what is the sexual and physical abuse of children,” he said.

The issue was brought to the APD’s attention by Catherine Dawson, a member of the Abbotsford CFUW chapter.

In a presentation at the CFUW’s annual general meeting, Dawson  proposed the resolution, calling for the provincial government to abolish the term “child pornography” on its websites, research materials and oral communication.

“When we use the words ‘child pornography’ or ‘kiddie porn’ or ‘child porn’ or ‘child erotica,’ we are minimizing the crime, its impact and effect,” she stated.

The Abbotsford Police Board will now forward the resolution to the B.C. Association of Police Boards for consideration.