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
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.