Online child sexual abuse images

Topics: Child sexual abuse and CSE

Working together to tackle the demand for and supply of online child sexual abuse images

This report outlines research and statistics about child sexual abuse images. It looks at what is and could be done to further address the issue.

The report starts by defining what constitutes a child sexual abuse image. It then goes on to look at the impact such images have on children, what is being done to tackle their production and distribution and what more work needs to be done to ensure that children are protected.

Author: Sonja Jütte
Published: 2016

Key findings

Some of the key points from the report include:

Why we need to tackle demand and supply of child sexual abuse images:

  • child sexual abuse images are a visual record of the sexual abuse of a child. Every time the image is viewed the abuse is repeated.
  • the knowledge that the image can be repeatedly viewed, and may never be removed, causes on-going trauma that children have to live with.

What is being done to address the issue:

  • there is already positive work being done between industry, government, law enforcement and the third sector both at the national and international level.

The NSPCC's recommendations:

  • we need to continue to work together and place a focus on prevention at the heart of our work
  • we're working towards ensuring that every child has the "right to remove" self-generated sexualised images - partnership working will be vital to this
  • more research is needed as well as a better, actionable understanding of what can prevent offending behaviour. This includes insights relating to both the individual and the online environment. The NSPCC are playing their part by commissioning research in this area
  • evidence suggests there is a journey from viewing pornography with young looking models that can escalate to viewing illegal child sexual abuse images. More needs to be done to address this
  • organisations, like the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, working to provide interventions with offenders and potential offenders with the aim of changing their behaviours provide an invaluable and under-resourced service. The NSPCC welcomes further focus on this aspect of prevention.


Please cite as: Jütte, S. (2016) Online child sexual abuse images: doing more to tackle demand and supply. London: NSPCC.