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Primary Prevention to Protect Children

Producing research-based recommendations for the tech industry on preventing child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) crimes.

In this research project, we are conducting new research to better prevent online sexual violence against children. We focus on understanding and enhancing help-seeking behaviour of individuals who view child sexual abuse material. We will also investigate the tech pathways of CSAM users from the open web to anonymous, encrypted platforms. 

Primary Prevention to Protect Children: Offender-focused prevention of online sexual violence against children

The project is built around research on help-seeking motivations of CSAM users and their pathways to anonymous, encrypted platforms. The project intends to increase the uptake of intervention resources and provide access to them for the tech companies to prevent further occurrence of crimes against children. 

The project is aimed at protecting children through primary prevention – stopping the crime from occurring in the first place. The findings will fulfil the need for an evidence base for tech platforms to facilitate help-seeking behaviour of CSAM users and offer actionable, research-based recommendations on how to prevent CSAM users from escalating their harmful and/or illegal behaviour.  

Protect Children will examine a distinction between CSAM users based on their motivation to seek help in order to define factors which affect willingness to seek help for illegal and/or harmful behaviour. The data will be collected directly from anonymous CSAM users through the existing ReDirection surveys and the ReDirection Self-Help Program. 

Enhancing help-seeking behaviours of online CSAM offenders 
Understanding the pathways of CSAM users to the dark web

The project explores pathways followed by CSAM users to move from open web platforms to searching for CSAM in the dark web: where they first encountered CSAM, why they switched to the dark web and how they learnt about it. The data is collected via anonymous surveys of CSAM users in the dark web. 

"If we want the tech industry to be able to prevent online sexual violence against children, we need to constantly provide them with new, evidence-based research. Knowledge and collaboration is the key to keep children safe online.”
Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen, Executive Director of Protect Children

Latest News from the 'Prevention to Protect' Research Project

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Publications from 'Prevention to Protect' Research Project

Funding

The project is funded by the Tech Coalition #SafeOnline Research Fund. End Violence's 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.   

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