Sexual abuse on video, live streaming and images
Video functions were once novelty, now they are integrated into almost every social media platform. Live streaming, or ‘going live’, has become more and more popular with children and young people. Whilst it can be a fun way for them to socialise and express themselves, children and young people can be sexually abused on these platforms. This is known as ‘non-contact’ or online sexual abuse and can be just as harmful as 'contact' sexual abuse.
The impact of online sexual abuse
Sexual abuse that takes place completely or partly online:
● can make a child or young person feel powerless or that there is no escape from the abuse as technology is part of their everyday life and used in safe spaces, such as their bedroom, home or school.
● can involve offenders threatening to share photos or videos to keep control over a child. These threats can make it difficult for a child to feel the abuse has come to an end as they fear that images will be out there forever
● can make children feel they are to blame for sending images, even if their actions were directed by the offender
● can cause psychological problems in the same way as contact abuse, such as nightmares, flashbacks, phobias, depression, anxiety or self-harm
Concerned about a child?
If you have concerns that a child is being sexually abused online, you should report your concerns to the police. If you have concerns that a child is at immediate risk of harm, you should call 999.