Watchdog report finds almost 900 instances of more severe form of child abuse content

  • According to the Internet Watchdog Foundation (IWF), children as young as seven are being forced to penetrate themselves with household objects for the sexual gratification of online predators.
  • The content analysed in the study had been shared online by the abuser, or abusers, who had been remote to the child and connected via the internet.
  • IWF CEO Susie Hargreaves commented “It’s vital that the UK Government’s Online Safety Bill is returned to Parliament as soon as possible, so that more is done to tackle this issue.”
  • For more on this story, please visit the IWF website.

Facebook to remove information fields from profiles

  • Starting next month, the platform will be removing four information fields from a user’s profile.
  • This includes religious and political views, addresses and the ‘interested in’ field which indicates sexual orientation.
  • The decision to remove these fields may be in efforts to have a similar ‘bio’ feature to other platforms, but may also lessen the risk of sharing private information.
  • To read more, please visit the Tech Crunch website.

At least 189 children in care in Northern Ireland are suspected victims of sexual abuse

  • All five health trusts in Northern Ireland were asked how many children in residential and foster care had been subjected to suspected sexual exploitation over the past five years.
  • Of these five, only four provided data under the Freedom of Information BUT they do not hold information detailing how many of these cases led to prosecutions
  • According to the PSNI, potential victims of child sexual exploitation do not even realise they are at risk as they are “highly manipulated” by their abusers, and therefore raising awareness is essential.
  • For more on this, please visit the Belfast Telegraph website.