Online child sexual abuse at record high levels - with some exploited within minutes

Published:  Mon 25 Apr 2022

Written by:  Lucy Watson, ITV News Correspondent

Online child sexual abuse is at record high levels, according to exclusive figures given to ITV News.

An Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) report says the greatest threat to children online is self-generated content where perpetrators groom and coerce children into creating images and videos of themselves. The offender records that content and shares it on the web.

The IWF, which searches and removes vile abuse, says it has seen an “explosion” in this type of crime over the past two years, with an increase of 374%.

This is partly down to Covid lockdowns, it said, when so many more people were online, but it is also down to the proliferation of social media and the changing trends of its use.

The IWF also reveals one in three reports of child sexual abuse on the internet involve 11 to 13-year-old girls - the largest group of people to suffer. But the fastest-growing group is seven to 10-year-olds.

Read more at ITV News

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1 million of the worst child sexual abuse images graded by ‘elite’ taskforce

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Digital fingerprints of a million images of child sexual abuse have been created, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has said.

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