‘Chat to a specialist’: Evaluation of an anonymous chat function of the ReDirection program
ReDirection Survey Report
Protect Children's latest ReDirection report lays out key findings from a 10-month pilot of the RDChat, an anonymous chat function added to the ReDirection Self-Help Program to motivate users towards positive behavioural change.
© Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry. 2023
The ReDirection project is funded by the Safe Online Initiative at End Violence. Safe Online has invested over US $77M in +100 projects around the world to create a safer internet for children. The Safe Online Initiative, in close partnership with grantees and partners, is leading on global efforts to make the internet safe for children by investing for impact in programmes that work and generating evidence to inform advocacy and collective action.
Many people who view child sexual abuse material (CSAM) indicate that they want to change their behaviour and stop offending. Despite a widespread demand for help resources, only a small fraction of users seek help. There is an urgent need to develop effective perpetration prevention resources, as they are essential to prevent criminal behaviour and victimisation of children.
In the ReDirection project, Protect Children developed a new, low threshold online help resource based on cognitive-behavioural theory, with the aim of helping CSAM users change their behaviour and stop offending. The ReDirection program was developed as an entirely self-help resource, with no interactive elements. Protect Children aimed to test whether adding an anonymous guided chat function with elements of Motivational Interviewing Technique to the ReDirection program could improve the effectiveness of the intervention.
The RDChat was added to the ReDirection program in November 2022 and has been running for 10 months.
The information we gained from piloting the RDChat is valuable and gives important insights relevant for the development of perpetration prevention resources. The pilot indicated that the RDChat had a positive effect on user motivation to continue working through the ReDirection Self-Help Program. However, due to low uptake, we did not gather enough data to thoroughly test the effectiveness of the chat service as an addition to the ReDirection Self-Help Program. Further research and efforts are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of different types of help resources for individuals to stop viewing child sexual abuse material.