Last month the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) released their annual report on child sexual abuse online and the figures are staggering.
The UK leading charity, who are supported by the global internet industry and European Commission, work internationally helping victims worldwide by identifying and removing online images and videos of their abuse in order to make the internet a safer place.
Back in 1996 when the organisation first began, 18% of the known global child sexual abuse imagery was hosted in the UK. Today that number is just 0.2%.
In April 2014 the Government gave the IWF the power to actively search for online sexual abuse imagery, before that time analysts were only able to access reports which had been made to the hotline. This has dramatically impacted on the amount of reports assessed and in comparison to 2013, there has been a fourfold increase on the amount of URL’s found which include illegal images.
In the last two years alone there has been a 417% increase in reports of child sexual abuse images and videos.
When looking further into the data from 2015, it showed:
- 112,975 reports were processed – An increase of 52% on 2014
- 69% of children assessed were aged 10 or under
- 34% of images were category A – which involved the rape or sexual torture of children.