Sup­port line of­fers men help to fight child sex im­ages ad­dic­tion

19 men in Bucks called helpline in last year point­ing to grow­ing prob­lem of on­line view­ing

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Camil­la_Good­man

NINE­TEEN men from Buck­ing­hamshire con­tacted a char­ity helpline in a 12 month pe­riod to get help with their at­trac­tion to sex­ual im­ages of chil­dren.

The men called a con­fi­den­tial helpline op­er­ated by Stop it Now!, a sex­ual abuse preven­tion cam­paign run by child pro­tec­tion char­ity the Lucy Faith­full Foun­da­tion.

The calls made be­tween Novem­ber 1, 2014 and Oc­to­ber 31, 2015, make up 1.6 per cent of the 1,191 calls re­ceived from across the UK from adults con­cerned about their on­line be­hav­iour.

In ad­di­tion to th­ese 19 men who rang the Stop it Now! helpline, a fur­ther 14 adults from the county rang over the same pe­riod to ex­press their con­cerns about the on­line be­hav­iour of an­other adult.

Th­ese calls are typ­i­cally from wives or par­ents.

The fig­ures point to a na­tional trend of in­creased on­line view­ing and shar­ing of child abuse im­ages.

Lat­est es­ti­mates from the Child Ex­ploita­tion and On­line Pro­tec­tion Cen­tre (CEOP) in­di­cate that 50,000 in­di­vid­u­als in the UK were in­volved in down­load­ing or shar­ing sex­ual im­ages of chil­dren in 2013.

In the face of the grow­ing de­mand for in­de­cent im­ages of chil­dren, Stop it Now! has launched a ma­jor new cam­paign which looks to tackle this grow­ing prob­lem and has pro­duced a se­ries of in­no­va­tive films, which aim to de­ter wouldbe of­fend­ers.

Wel­com­ing the launch of the cam­paign, di­rec­tor of re­search and de­vel­op­ment at the Lucy Faith­full Foun­da­tion Don­ald Find­later, said: “How­ever many ben­e­fits dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy of­fers, we know it is also used to cause great harm. Whilst we have tough laws con­cern­ing child sex­ual abuse, and the view­ing and shar­ing of in­de­cent im­ages of chil­dren, we know that tens of thou­sands of peo­ple (mostly men) go on­line to ac­cess this ma­te­rial reg­u­larly.

“This cam­paign is de­signed to stop as many of them as pos­si­ble, by clar­i­fy­ing what the law says; by telling them of the harm done to chil­dren by mak­ing and view­ing this ma­te­rial; by bluntly show­ing them some of the likely con­se­quences of their be­hav­iour on their fam­i­lies and them­selves; and by di­rect­ing those who are strug­gling to stop to anony­mous, free, con­fi­den­tial re­sources that can help.

“But the cam­paign needs the pub­lic to play their part – by talk­ing about child sex­ual abuse and how to pre­vent it. And by be­ing alert to the signs that a loved one may be view­ing sex­ual im­ages of chil­dren on­line and know­ing how to re­spond.”

Since 2002 Stop it Now! has helped thou­sands of peo­ple to change their harm­ful be­hav­iour to­wards chil­dren, both di­rectly as well as on­line. It has also pro­vided sup­port, ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion to fam­i­lies and friends con­cerned about a loved one’s be­hav­iour.

The cam­paign has also en­hanced its con­fi­den­tial and anony­mous web­site www.get-help.sto­pit­now. org.uk, of­fer­ing an even wider range of on­line re­sources, de­signed to help those trou­bled by their on­line be­hav­iour to stop.

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