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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Know the Risks of Photos

I have come to the conclusion that devotees are, without doubt, destructive parasites lurking around the amputee community. If you are unfamiliar with the term, devotees refer to the group of individuals who are fascinated or sexually intrigued by amputees, particularly amputee women. They stalk conferences, lurk around prosthetic offices and actively seek to find photos of amputee women with a bare residual limb.

I continue to be shocked by the number of amputee pornography websites. I will not pass judgment on the amputee "models" who willingly bear their bodies for the photographers. I assume that these women are consenting adults who are compensated and aware of the consequences of their actions.

However, I am disgusted and appalled by the photographs that are taken in secrecy. Amputee women are often stalked for the purposes of obtaining "stump shots" to facilitate Internet pornography. Unaware of what is occurring, these women are violated and many times do not know that it had occurred. I know, because this has happened to me.

Several years ago I was unknowingly photographed without my leg while on vacation. We were staying at my aunt's condo in a gated community. We had no reason to question our security. Yet, I discovered months later that my photo was taken as I was lying on a lounge chair. There was nothing that I could do because the damage was done. Once a photo is on the Internet, it is nearly impossible to completely remove.

Because of this experience I have become hyper-vigilant about keeping my limb covered in public. I never take off the liner, and I try to avoid removing my prosthetic. I won't allow my residual limb to be photographed.

Recently I have heard several horror stories about devotee photo encounters. One amputee friend was unaware when a photograph was taken of her during a physical therapy session. Another friend unknowingly posted photos of her residual limb on a social networking site. Both of these women are now unfortunate members of the Unwilling Amputee Pornography Club.

The views about bearing the residual limb in public are as varied as amputees themselves. I understand being proud of your body and not being ashamed of the residual limb. I just worry about how many of these new proud amputees realize that the same photographs that are proudly uploaded to their Facebook page may also end up on pornography themed websites. Please just know the risks because some devotees scour the Internet seeking these photos to line their coffers as well as to satisfy their perversions.

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