There is currently a law awaiting debate in the Iowa Senate that closes a loophole in Iowa law that allows children to be shown obscene photos by a parent or guardian. Iowa law currently makes it illegal to show (disseminate) obscene material to a minor (a common form of grooming for later sexual abuse) UNLESS it is done by a parent or guardian. Given the percentages of child sexual abuse that is committed by someone the child knows or by a family member, this current provision is INSANE
There is a HUGE difference between showing photos that educate your child on anatomy and reproduction and showing obscene materials for questionable reasons. One senator has described an experience from when he was in law enforcement several years ago where a father had gone to federal prison for child pornography, and then upon his release was showing pornographic photos to his children….guess what? Under current Iowa law…what he did after his release was ok! It is child abuse but it isn’t technically illegal so there is no ramification beyond getting added to the states child abuse registry.
This loophole in Iowa law is WRONG. It puts our children in a place where, unless something physically happens to them, there is no solid protection for them in many circumstances. Our children deserve better.
So today I am asking my fellow Iowans to call and email your senators and representatives and tell them our children deserve better. They deserve to be safe, they deserve to be protected. Tell them to vote “yes” on Senate File 460 (formerly SSB1144).
- Jessica Starbuck