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  • Protect Children

International Women's Day

Updated: Jun 11

BLOG POST

This International Women’s Day, 8 March 2024, we would like to raise awareness about online sexual violence against girls and call for immediate and stronger global commitments to end (online) child sexual abuse and exploitation.

 

Girls are at great risk of being subjected to online sexual violence and this particular vulnerability must be taken into account when implementing prevention and protection measures.


The results of our recent research, conducted through Project 2KNOW: Knowledge to Prevent, have revealed that anonymous child sexual abuse material offenders primarily search for CSAM depicting girls aged 11 to 14. Our 2KNOW Preliminary Findings Report shows that:


  • A significant number of respondents to the ‘Help us to know’ survey reported searching for material representing children between the ages of 11 and 14 years old (59%), and 15 to 17 years old (44%).  

  • 78% of the respondents reported searching for material depicting girls, whilst 21% said they search for CSAM depicting boys.



This finding that CSAM offenders primarily search for content depicting young teenage girls remains relatively constant throughout the four languages analysed in our #2KNOW Language-focused Report, uncovering that:


  • 37% of English, 34% of Spanish, 24% of Russian, and 23% of Portuguese-speaking CSAM offenders reported looking for CSAM depicting children aged 11-14 years old.

  • 58% of English, 47% of Russian, 46% of Spanish and 41% of Portuguese-speaking CSAM offenders reported looking for CSAM depicting girls.



These findings align with the influence of patriarchal structures and gender stereotypes, which sexualise and objectify young women and girls in society, media and cultural representations. Girls have been found to be at higher risk of being depicted in a sexual or explicit manner[1], which has further been exacerbated by social media.[2]  


Our 2KNOW research results highlights the urgent need to develop more effective preventive and protective measures to end child sexual abuse and exploitation. To do so, it is critically important to acknowledge the gendered dimension of CSAM-related crimes and consider the different impacts that CSAM has on its potential victims and the unique vulnerabilities that girls face.[3] 


Ensuring that all women and girls feel safe and live free of violence in all spaces is a fundamental human right, and it is vital to ensure the full realisation of this human right.


Let us stand together and continue to work tirelessly for a future in which every girl (and all children) can thrive in safety and dignity and enjoy a childhood free of violence.


2KNOW report: Knowledge to Prevent Online Sexual Violence Against Children: Insights from a Survey of Child Sexual Abuse Material Offenders

[1] American Psychological Association, Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls (2007). Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report-full.pdf.

[2] Ng, SV (2017). Social Media and the Sexualization of Adolescent Girls. The American Journal of Psychiatry. https://psychiatryonline.org/doi/pdf/10.1176/appi.ajp-rj.2016.111206.

[3] See our blog post ‘CSAM is a Gendered Issue’, Protect Children’s recent research shows’: https://www.suojellaanlapsia.fi/en/post/research-csam-gender



 

About Project 2KNOW


The research results included in this blog post were conducted as a part of the project Knowledge to Prevent (2KNOW). The project is led by Protect Children, with the Council of the Baltic Sea States and the University of Eastern Finland as partners. Project 2KNOW aims to support and improve national and international data collection on violence against children by developing a sustainable and replicable data collection model that is suited to gathering information about online violence against children. 




The 2KNOW project has been produced with the financial support of the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV) Programme (2022) of the European Union. The contents herein are the sole responsibility of project partnership and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.  


Funded by the EU
Funded by the EU


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