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Child Sexual Abuse Material Fact Sheet

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Unwanted Contact Fact Sheet

 

Crime Stoppers is pleased to join forces with the eSafety Commissioner to rollout a Child Protection campaign right across the country to combat child sexual abuse and unwanted contact online.

Predators who capitalise on the innocence of children makes these types of crimes amongst the most abhorrent imaginable and should not be tolerated in our community.

Research by eSafety has revealed 1 in 4 young people have been contacted by a stranger online.

Our joint campaign will help parents and carers understand the warning signs of unwanted contact, protect their child’s privacy online, and to report suspicious activity. 

We want to be part of the effort to rid the internet of this disturbing and vile content and bring those responsible to justice.

We hope parents and caregivers become more aware of the dangers facing children online, better monitor their online activities, and take time to talk to them about how to spend time safely online.

Everyone has a role to play in combatting predatory behaviour online and putting an end to unwanted and harmful contact from strangers.

Crime Stoppers jurisdictions right across Australia are getting behind this campaign. They will be featuring information and fact sheets on their websites, promote greater awareness of this initiative through the hundreds of thousands of social media followers, and get out into the community at grass-roots levels to reinforce what people should be on the lookout for.

 

ABOUT THE PROBLEM

  • Child sexual abuse material consists of images, videos and live streamed footage that shows the sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of children.
  • The content can range from children posing in sexually suggestive ways through to ‘contact’ offences involving direct sexual assault. In such cases, the predator is generally known to the child.
  • However, an increasing number of cases investigated by police involve the sexual exploitation of children online by a stranger.
  • Child sexual abuse material is obtained and shared in several ways:
    • A predator records the sexual abuse of a child then uploads or shares it online.
    • A predator contacts a child through an app or service on a connected device and tricks or coerces them into producing and sending sexually explicit images and videos of themselves.
    • A predator shares images or videos of children ‘stolen’ from social media accounts.
  • The trade in child sexual abuse material online is global and abhorrent. Every time an image or video of a child being abused is shared or distributed, demand is fostered for new and more extreme material.

 

AN AUSTRALIAN CONTEXT

  • Children are accessing the internet through multiple devices - both at home and at school-which provides valuable educational and social benefits, but can also result in issues such as cyberbullying, inappropriate sharing of images or even grooming by online predators.
  • In February we saw the Australian Institute of Criminology reveal that financial records showed that more than 250 Australians spent more than $1.3 million to watch child sexual abuse, live streamed on the internet from the Philippines, over 13 years.
  • While the majority were aged in their 50s and 60s, more than half had no criminal record and were from a range of occupations that included aged care workers, gardeners and even a housewife.

 

ADVICE TO PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS

  • Parents and caregivers should ensure a child’s social media account is private or adjust settings to control who can look at their photos and posts.
  • Delete any requests from strangers
  • Ask your child about the sites, apps and online chat services they are using, and explore them together.
  • Build an open, trusting relationship so they can come to you when someone is asking them to do something that does not feel right.

Know the warning signs:

  • an online ‘friend’ who asks a lot of questions about personal information soon after meeting
  • asks for favours and does things in return - abusers often use promises, gifts and favours to gain trust
  • wants to keep their relationship secret
  • contacts them frequently and in different ways, like texting, through Instagram or online chat services
  • asks things like who else uses their computer or which room it’s in
  • compliments them on their appearance or asks things like, ‘have you ever been kissed’?
  • insists on meeting face to face.

WHAT TO DO:

  • We are asking the community to be vigilant online.
  • If someone suspects or sees something related to online child sexual abuse it should be reported immediately so action can be taken. 
  • We cannot underestimate the valuable contribution the community plays in helping to stop, solve and prevent crime.
  • Reporting these crimes enable authorities to shut down the illegal content and catch the offenders.
  • We are asking parents to closely monitor their child’s online activity. If they see or suspect anything of a suspicious or uncomfortable nature, say something.
  • Many of the crimes we deal with usually have witnesses, but online crimes of this type typically happen in the privacy of a child’s phone or computer – that is why we rely on parents and carers to report what they see or know.
  • A preferred outcome is prevention, so our plea to parents is to monitor your child’s online activity and educate them on how to spot the danger signs,

Child sexual abuse material can be reported to the Office of eSafety at www.esafety.gov.au/reportillegalcontent    

If you know or suspect someone is producing, downloading or sharing child sexual abuse material you can report what you know to Crime Stoppers online or Ph 1800 333 000.

You don’t have to provide any personal details if you choose not to.

 

 

 

All information shared becomes the property of Police.

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