Skip to main content

Safer Internet Centre

Do you have a cyberbullying or digital safety concern?

helpline@saferinternet.org.uk 0844 381 4772

IWF study reveals child sexual abuse content as top online concern

A new study from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) launched today reveals child sexual abuse content as top online concern and potentially 1.5m adults have stumbled upon it

More people in Britain are concerned about websites showing the sexual abuse of children than other types of illegal, illicit or ‘harmful’ internet content. However, more than half of people in Britain currently say that they either wouldn’t know how to report it if they were to encounter it (40%) or would just ignore it (12%).

Susie Hargreaves, CEO of the Internet Watch Foundation said: “There is clear public concern over the availability of images and videos of children being sexually abused on the internet.

“What is concerning for us is that not enough people know how to report this or would rather ignore it, especially considering the survey tells us that around 1.5 million British adults have seen this sort of content online.

 “Although we’ve seen record removal times in the UK, during 2012 we saw a higher proportion of images of children under 10 years old being sexually abused.”

Ms Hargreaves continued: “We are also very aware that there are internet hosting companies in the UK which could do more, and faster, who are not members of IWF.

“We have a responsibility to do all we can to help protect children - and adults who were abused as children - from having their abuse viewed time and time again. We need to prevent people from stumbling upon this content and assist other countries in creating a hostile environment for hosting it.

“The problem is very much still out there, and is a great public concern, so our message is if you think you’ve stumbled upon child sexual abuse images or videos on the internet, report it to iwf.org.uk.”

You can read the full press release here