Child sex abuse images mainly primary schoolers

In its first 12 months, the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner conducted 7,400 investigations into online child sexual abuse material—92 per cent of which depicted children who were primary school age or younger.

“95 per cent of these victims were girls—very young girls—who are re-victimised when this material is shared online” says Acting Commissioner Andree Wright.

“The age of the children we are seeing, and the disturbing nature of this content, underscores the need for us to get this material taken down as rapidly as possible.”

The Office worked with 50 international partners to remove thousands of URLs hosting such content and to refer information to law enforcement in Australia and overseas.

“Every image of child sexual abuse is a crime scene. We are actively helping to end the cycle of re-victimisation of children all over the world.”

The Office’s 12 month report card published today shows the office as taking up an Australian leadership role in online safety for children. In the past year, the Office:

  • Educated over 59,000 students across Australia through Virtual Classrooms—presentations delivered online by the Office’s eSafety trainers.
  • Delivered face-to-face presentations to over 71,000 Australians.
  • Received 186 serious cyberbullying complaints, most commonly relating to girls (71%) and predominantly involving nasty comments, serious name calling and offensive or upsetting images or video.
  • Had over 2.9 million page views on its website.

Two new initiatives were rolled out by the Office in 2016—eSafetyWomen, providing resources and advice to counter the rise of technology facilitated abuse—and a range of online resources for parents, giving guidance on cybersafety issues and online content.

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, but our eyes are now fixed forward on making the internet a safer place for all Australians today and tomorrow” says Wright.

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