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Helping young men to navigate responsibly online & Protecting child victims from harm

Help us protect victims of child sexual abuse 

Can you be sure the person in the pictures you're viewing online is over-18? 

If you accidently see sexual images or videos of someone you think might be under-18, do the right thing and report it to us.

If you need help navigating the internet safely and legally, get in touch in confidence

Know the law

In the United Kingdom taking, making, sharing and possessing indecent photographs [and pseudo-photographs [1]] of under-18s is illegal.  

  • This can include photos, videos, tracings and derivatives of a photograph, and data that can be converted into a photograph.
  • The term “indecent” is not defined in legislation but can include penetrative sexual activity, and non-penetrative sexual activity.
  • The term "making" can include opening, accessing, downloading and storing online content.
  • The term “sharing” includes sending on an email, offering on a file sharing platform, uploading to a site that other people have access to and possessing with a view to distribute. 

HM Government and IWF wants to protect young people by making sure they know the rights and wrongs of viewing and sharing sexual images online. We want to empower them to navigate the internet confidently and safely within legal boundaries. Click here to find out more on the gov.uk website.

About the campaign

Viewing, sharing and distributing indecent images of under-18s online is illegal. Research shows that not everyone knows the law and may be reluctant or embarrassed to ask. We also know that the age of people in pictures isn't always clear, so even if you think someone is over-18 in a picture, they may not be.  

The IWF, in partnership with HM Government, the NSPCC and the Marie Collins Foundation, has launched an education campaign to highlight the harm caused to child victims of online sexual abuse and to raise awareness about the law. 

The campaign is targeted at men aged 18-24 and is designed to inform and help young men use the internet safely - for their own sake and for the protection of under-18s who have been abused and/or coerced into being in indecent pictures that are shared online. We also want to give young men the tools and confidence to report any indecent images of children they see online. 

The campaign is countering myths, challenging misconceptions and justifications, stressing responsibilities and increasing awareness and understanding. 

Our aims are to: 

  • Protect victims and reduce the amount of indecent images of children online;
  • Educate young men so they can legally and safely navigate their online environment with confidence in the future.

We asked young men what they know about the laws surrounding indecent images of children. See what they said:

Report here