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New ReDirection & POLAMK Research: Darknet Communities Justifying Sexual Violence Against Children

PRESS RELEASE 29.8.22


Helsinki – 29 August 2022, 00:01 EEST


New research from Police University College of Finland in Protect Children's ReDirection project: Darknet communities are justifying sexual violence against children




The ReDirection project led by Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry has produced unprecedented information to prevent sexual violence against children. The project's latest review, produced by collaboration partner Police University College (POLAMK), "The darkest side of the dark web: The justification of sexual violence against children in the online communities of pedophiles" is a continuation of high-quality studies produced as part of the project, which all demonstrate the immediate need to strengthen the prevention of sexual violence against children.


The publication produced by POLAMK is a unique and extensive scientific overview of the online communities of CSAM (child sexual abuse material) users on the dark web. The research review written by researcher Dr. Salla Huikuri has been carried out as part of the ReDirection project led by Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry, with funding from End Violence Against Children, founded on the initiative of the United Nations.


In the review, Dr. Salla Huikuri scrutinizes online communities of child sexual abusers on the darknet and sheds light on how such communities justify, promote, and enable sexual violence against children. The findings of the research provide valuable new insights for law enforcement, practitioners, civil society actors, and academia.



"The research data produced in the ReDirection project increases our understanding of CSAM users, which strengthens the fight against crimes of sexual violence against children. Our research project is a great example of cooperation between non-governmental organizations and law enforcement authorities. It allows the latest research information to be put into practice to strengthen the prevention of online crimes of sexual violence against children." emphasizes Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen, Executive Director of Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry. The research conducted by Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry and the review produced by POLAMK show that the use of CSAM is associated with a significant risk of more severe crimes against children, highlighting the urgent need for preventive measures.


Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry’s ReDirection research questionnaires for CSAM users on the Dark Web have been translated into 19 languages, and the research data consists of answers from over 20 000 respondents. Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry will continue to analyze the ReDirection research data and increase information and awareness to better protect children from sexual violence. Protect Children will hold an International Expert Webinar on Developments in Offender-Focused Prevention to Protect Children from OCSEA on 5 September 2022 at 15:00 CET.


More information:

Specialist, Researcher +358 400 810 020 tegan.insoll@protectchildren.fi

Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen Executive Director, Senior Specialist, Psychotherapist +358 40 747 8829 nina.vaaranen-valkonen@suojellaanlapsia.fi

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