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'alarming new trend' of online sex abuse

4 February 2013

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre have reported a growth in the sexual abuse of children online. Only 7% of the 1,145 online abuse cases reported to CEOP involved attempts to meet a child; a five percent drop since 2011. Instead the new trend is to contact, groom and abuse solely online.

Children can be faced with threats and blackmail if they refuse to partake in online sexual activity. Pictures and/or video footage of sexual abuse may be shared among paedophile networks which can have a devastating effect on victims and their families.

The recent high profile case of the Kuwaiti brothers demonstrates the need to continually highlight the risks of online grooming and sexual abuse. Education providers have an important role to play by developing and monitoring e-safety policies, ensuring both parents and pupils are educated on e-safety and the preventative measures they can take and who they can turn to for advice.

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