This page contains descriptions of sexual abuse affecting children.
You can find out where to report child sexual abuse material in your country here.
You can access national child helplines via the European number 116 111.
Every second, at least 2 images or videos of child sexual abuse are shared online.
Child victims of online sexual abuse and exploitation report similar levels of trauma symptoms to victims of offline sexual offences. As well as support to cope with the abuse, victims require this material to be removed from the Internet first and foremost. The continuous circulation of images and videos means that children endure never-ending trauma and report living in fear of being recognised from photos and videos on the internet.
New data from the Internet Watch Foundation’s 2022 annual report found that more of the most heinous type of child sexual abuse - rape - was found online than ever before, with 30% of child-survivors being under the age of 10.
Research shows that criminals are using the Internet as a tool to sell and buy child sexual abuse images and videos among themselves. The number of websites that are commercially exploiting the sexual abuse of children have doubled since 2020.
While this is a global challenge, it is one that the EU is at the centre of - 60% of all child sexual abuse material reported to the Internet Watch Foundation in 2022 was hosted in EU member states. Too often, children who are victims of this crime are too young and scared to speak out for themselves or to even recognise that what is happening to them is a crime.
We cannot leave our children to face these horrors alone.
The ChildSafetyOn coalition is united in its call to EU decision makers to end the global epidemic of childhood sexual violence online in Europe (and beyond).
Child sexual abuse material (CSAM): visually depicts a child or person appearing to be a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and can be exchanged, shared and sold online. It can refer to pictures, videos, screenshots of live-streamed abuse, as well as digitally created material, and deepfake material, created with artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes using the faces/bodies of real children.
Grooming: happens when an adult intentionally starts and establishes a relationship with a child for the purpose of facilitating sexual contact between them.