Safe Internet Day 2017
Some things to know about Child Sex Abuse and the role of the internet with Safe Internet Day 2017 here;
Today more than 100 countries worldwide, including all 28 countries of the European Union, are celebrating Safer Internet Day (SID) for the fourteenth year running.
We do need to be conscious of the dangers of the internet, it’s fantastic in that it opens all sorts of possibilities for people, but clearly some will misuse it and it can as you say be an impetus towards abuse. But of course we did have abuse ever before the internet so let’s not say the internet only is responsible, this is a crime that predates the internet.
Why Safe Internet Day Matters to One in Four:
- Safer Internet day is important to One in Four as our key objective is the prevention of child sex abuse. A growing age group of the sex offenders is the young men, the 18-29-year-olds. For the first time, we have two treatment groups running for offenders.
- The number of young men aged 18-25 years who have been referred to One in Four has increased and now comprises almost a quarter of all offenders on our treatment programme.
- These young men begin their journey into offending by downloading images of child abuse on the internet. This often begins around puberty. Through using these images they become sexualised to them, then moving on to contact abuse.
- The reality is if they are watching these images a real child somewhere is being abused and also most of our offenders will tell us that when they were caught the next step for them would have been to commit a contact offence.
- A number of these online offenders move from viewing this material on the internet to actual contact abuse. However only focusing on what viewing this imagery leads to is dangerous in itself. The internet makes it easy to desensitise ourselves from what is happening. When there are sexual imagery and videos of children being shared on the internet it means that these children are being abused. The abuse that is happening to them is very real.
“We don’t use the term child pornography because that implies some sort of validity to it. It is downloading images to watch children being sexually abused"
Safer Internet Day is working to promote online safety for everyone. It is important to teach ourselves and our children about the repercussions of one's actions online. It is essential to learn how to use the internet safely. As a digital age society, it is important to consider how we support young people to develop healthy notions of sex based on consensual sexual intimacy.
Initiated under the European Commission’s Safer Internet Programme and now continuing under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) which funds Safer Internet Centres in the member states, the day marks an annual opportunity to engage in making the internet a safer and better place for our children and young people.