Reports, Studies, Reviews and Research

Children’s experiences of sexual harassment and abuse on the internet

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Save the Children Finland

This report is based on a survey conducted in 2011 by Save the Children and the Helsinki Virtual Community Policing Group, providing insight into the increasing occurrence and prevalence of the sexual abuse of Finnish children and adolescents on the internet. The survey took place through the Finnish social networking sites of IRC Galleria, Habbo, Demi and Aapeli.
There were a total of 4,256 survey respondents. This report only examines the replies by respondents under 16 years old (62% girls, 38% boys), accounting for 54% – or 2,283 of all respondents. Results from the survey revealed that 33% of the children had received sexual messages, photos or videos experienced as harassing from an adult or someone clearly older; 24% had entered into discussions of a sexual nature, and 20% had had a sexual webcam contact with an adult or someone clearly older;11 % had appeared scantily dressed or naked on webcam. The problem of internet-facilitated child sexual abuse may be a much broader problem than previously realised requiring determined law enforcement interventions and child protection actions.

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