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As a precaution against the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Internet Watch Foundation will be operating at a reduced capacity. We provide a vital service for the public and are committed to staying open but there is likely to be a delay responding to reports, emails and calls. People can still report child sexual abuse imagery as normal here.

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Celebrating the people that make IWF great

By Heidi Kempster, IWF Chief Operating Officer

Heidi's photo

“How can you do that job?” – that’s often the first question asked when someone new finds out that real people have to look for, and remove, some of the most awful images of children suffering. 

Every one of our analysts has a different story to tell and they are all extraordinarily resilient and compassionate mothers, husbands, grandparents, party-goers, gamers, cat lovers – simply a mix of ordinary people like you and me.

What separates them is their ability to not only focus on detail and make crucial judgement calls but be confronted by some truly horrendous acts which adults have inflicted upon vulnerable children. Our analysts don’t just see it once or twice in their day, but a single analyst could work through hundreds of web pages showing thousands of images every day. 

Looking after them is our top priority, as you can imagine, and you can read more about how we do this in my blog post from May

Additionally, there’s a network of others who support our analysts; compliance staff who double check the standard of assessments performed by our analysts, technical people who build the great software and technology we need to do our work well, and provide the best services to our Members, and staff who work with our 148 Members to ensure they understand how we can help their ambitions to provide safer spaces online to their customers, and help prevent the spread of the images we work so hard to remove. 

This summer we’ll be celebrating all of these people by featuring their stories, in their words, about what they do and why they feel they contribute something valuable not just to children who’ve been sexually abused, but more widely to our society. Check back throughout the summer to find out more about the people who are the beating heart of IWF.

Report here