By Elizabeth A. Elliot
Patrick Trueman, president of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation in Washington, was among the worldwide experts to attend the World Congress on Child Dignity in the Digital World in Rome Oct. 3-6.
The conference was organized by the Pontifical Gregorian University’s Center for Child Protection, in collaboration with WePROTECT, a U.K.-based global alliance to fight online sexual abuse, and the organization “Telefono Azzurro,” the first Italian help line for children at risk.
The event called attention to the unprecedented sexual exploitation of children, according to Trueman. “Throughout the world, people working on the issue of child sexual abuse often do not highlight what we do — sexual abuse through exposure to pornography,” he said.
Trueman, who served as a former chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division, at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, said there is now greater awareness of the worldwide problem of sexual abuse of children and the harm that pornography causes.
“The Rome conference and the Declaration of Rome is meant to spurn action in various religions, government and industries,” he said. “I believe this will have a ripple effect throughout the years.”