“The child victims of sexual abuse online are revictimised again and again, every time their picture is shared. The experience they go through at such a young age is unimaginably horrific, and they frequently take this pain into adulthood with them.” – Internet Watch Foundation
Key figures and trends include:
- Confirmed child sexual abuse URLs (2017) 78,589. This is up by 37% from 57,335 in 2016.
- Severity up. Category A content, which includes the rape and sexual torture of children, is up by 5%, from 28% of all content to 33%.
- Disguised website abuse in unprecedented increase. The IWF saw a 86% rise in use of disguised websites, from 1,572 in 2016 to 2,909 in 2017. This implicates increased intelligence among offenders, who may be going to new lengths to evade detection.
- Europe worst offender for hosting. Europe now hosts 65% of all confirmed IWF child sexual abuse imagery. This is up from 60% last year. The Netherlands continues to be the worst country for hosting child sexual abuse material.
- Website brands. The number of child sexual abuse website brands rose by 112%.
- Websites and newsgroups. In total, 80,318 reports of confirmed child sexual abuse were processed by the IWF, up from 59,548 in 2016. This was a 35% increase.
- To read the IWF’s full 2017 Annual Report go to: https://annualreport.iwf.org.uk/