Barnardo’s has welcomed the Government’s new Stop Abuse Together campaign as new figures from the Internet Watch Foundation reveal 2021 was the worst year on record for child sexual abuse online.
The IWF, which finds and helps remove abuse content from the internet, said it investigated 361,000 reports of suspected criminal material in 2021 – more than it dealt with in its entire first 15 years of existence between 1996 and 2011.
In response, Barnardo’s Interim Co-CEO Lynn Perry MBE said:
“Barnardo’s has been supporting children who have been sexually abused for decades, and we see first-hand how easily they can slip through the net. Too often victims go unidentified and unsupported, for weeks, months, or even years.
“It is vital that when there is a suspicion of child sexual abuse, it is reported as quickly as possible.
“We hope that the Stop Abuse Together campaign empowers parents and carers to recognise the risks online, know where to get help if they suspect a child is being abused, and to have challenging conversations with their children about their activities on and offline.”