Learning about online sexual harm

November 2019




Date of publication:  28 Nov 2019 Author:  Helen Beckett Camille Warrington Jacqui Montgomery Devlin Publisher:  Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse published a research with young people into their views and experiences of online risks and sexual harm. The small-scale research included 213 young people aged 10-18, which means it is not representative of the perspectives of all young people. However, the results are similar to a previous and ongoing research done by the Principal Children and Families Social Worker (PCFSW) network.

The five main themes from the study implying social care practice are the following:

  • Children and young people are exposed to online risks and sexual harm from a young age
  • Spending time online
  • Children value online opportunities and find negative and avoidance-based safety messages unhelpful
  • Reporting concerns
  • Education and discussions should ensure children to not believe responsibility for preventing online sexual harm lies with them

Young people spend a significant part of their time online, which has a great impact on their lives and development. Educating them about online risks and creating a safe environment for them is the way to ensure their safety, development and well-being. Taking it a step further, young people should be educated about dealing with such risks and experiences mentally as well.

Learn more from the report:

  • about their research methodology,
  • being online and youth knowledge about online sexual harm,
  • provision of school-based education about online sexual harm,
  • suggestion about improving school-based education,
  • and ways to enhancing online safety.
Total number of pages: 
Series this is part of: 
Country(s) this content is relevant to: 
United Kingdom

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