The Emotional Impact

“The Emotional Impact on and Coping Strategies Employed by Police Teams Investigating Internet Child Exploitation”
Carolyn M. Burns, Jeff Morley, Richard Bradshaw, and José Domene

Extended Summary

This article studies the secondary traumatic stress that Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) investigators experience because of the barrage of graphic images and sounds they endure on a regular basis. Because of their anonymity, these crimes tend to receive low publicity, as does the recognition of the mental impact on ICE members. However, growing awareness of the intense psychological consequences this work can inflict on investigators has allowed awareness of the problem to grow. This awareness has fostered the development of approaches that lessen the risk of the secondary trauma ICE investigative work can cause. This article discusses adaptive factors and strategies that can reduce the risk of severe mental trauma, including psychological support, gradual rather than sudden introductions to graphic material, and dissociation from the images viewed.