Horror warning issued about what children watch online

Barnardo's Connected Families – Porn, bodies and sex – the parents

Children are carrying out violent sexual acts on other youngsters after watching pornography online, a report out today warns. Research by the Children’s Commissioner for England has found that youngsters have been sexually degraded by their peers, including being choked and strangled, slapped, kicked, whipped, and punched. Other children spoke about being forced to take part in perverted sex acts. 

The acts of sexual violence were referenced in half of police interview transcripts of child-on-child sex abuse cases examined by the commissioner.

Dame Rachel de Souza described the finding as “incredibly concerning” and said further review of some of the cases found children suggesting direct links between exposure to pornography and harmful sexual behaviour.

In a bid to investigate the role that pornography might play in some child abuse cases the commissioner’s office used statutory powers to, for the first time, collect and analyse just over 500 files on child-on-child sexual abuse.

Dame Rachel said: “What this compelling new evidence now shows is that these acts commonly taking place in pornography are also occurring in terrible cases of child sexual abuse and violence.

“When we combine that with what children and young people themselves tell us about the influence porn has on their behaviour and wellbeing, I believe we have a stronger case than ever for bringing in the most robust protections for children online.

“No child should be able to access or watch pornography. Passing the Online Safety Bill must be a priority if we are to protect children quickly and effectively – but it is also just one part of the essential and urgent work of protecting children from sexual abuse.”

Dame Rachel said the nature, scale and impacts of online pornography should not be shied away from as she called for the Online Safety Bill to complete its passage through Parliament “as an urgent priority”.

She says the Bill, which is currently undergoing line-by-line scrutiny in the House of Lords, must ensure that all platforms which host pornography have robust age verification on adult content in place.

And she says that requirements to protect children from online pornography must be consistent across all types of regulated services, and should mandate that all sites remove illegal content, including child sexual abuse material.

She said the report “contributes to the literature on pornography’s role in shaping and fuelling violence against women and girls” and that while the risk factors behind harmful sexual behaviour and children abusing other children are complex, “much of the abuse is taking forms which are depicted in pornography”.

Her calls about the dangers of online pornography are echoed by the children’s charity Barnardo’s.

The charity’s chief executive Lynn Perry said: “Every day, our services are supporting children who have seen extreme pornography containing illegal acts, violence and child sexual abuse.”

Ms Perry added: “As the Children’s Commissioner has highlighted, exposure to this disturbing content can harm their mental health and their perception of what makes a healthy relationship.

“Our frontline workers support children who have participated in sexual acts they have seen online, despite feeling uncomfortable and even scared. 

“Barnardo’s remains concerned that the Online Safety Bill does not go far enough to protect children from stumbling across harmful content.  

“The Government must strengthen the new laws by introducing robust age verification for pornography websites, as well as making sure that content which is already illegal to sell in a shop is also illegal online.”  

Don’t miss…
Sterling beats the dollar to become ‘the best performing’ currency[ANALYSIS]
Tech giants allow ‘online spaces for toxic abuse and misogyny'[REPORT]
Tough law makes ‘streaming’ safer for young viewers[REVEALED]

The Children’s Commissioner’s report considered 379 transcripts from one police force, of interviews with children who have been sexually harmed and children who have sexually harmed another child.

It also looked at 123 Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) documents from one NHS foundation trust regarding children who were sexually harmed by other children.

It found that, of the police interviews, 50 percent contained reference to an act of physical aggression, act of humiliation or act of coercion, while 10 percent of the SARC documents contained reference to at least one of these acts.

In the police transcripts the most common acts referenced were name-calling which sometimes included the term “worthless”, while the most common category of sexual violence was physical aggression, with 35 percent of cases involving slapping, strangulation, hairpulling, gagging, spanking, whipping, punching, or kicking.

Almost one in 10 (nine percent) of the cases for which the police transcripts were looked at involved both an act of physical aggression and an act of humiliation.

Source: Read Full Article