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Fifty percent of all child sex abuse cases linked to online porn

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 21st, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Thousands of children in the United Kingdom are at high risk of sexual exploitation. In half of all these cases, and in half the cases, online porn is partly to blame. That's the findings of a new shocking report that says that as many as 16,500 youngsters, or the equivalent of 20 medium-sized secondary schools are at risk for sexual exploitation.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Deputy Children's Commissioner Sue Berelowitz, in her study of sexual exploitation by urban gangs found that the "use and impact" of pornography was a major factor in 48 percent of interviews with abuse victims and perpetrators.
 
The highly easy access of porn online skewed young people's views about what is "acceptable, required or expected" of sex - and could leave boys seeing girls as 'objects' to be used and abused," Berelowitz says.

Naive younger people are often found "wandering 'round" in the "thicket" of the Internet. "There are some neighborhoods where sexual violence and a sense of entitlement were completely normalized."

The report said that it's rare to find abuse cases where technology such as mobile phones and computers were not in some way connected.

Examples of Internet sexual abuse includes encouraging girls to swap sexually explicit images on mobiles, adults grooming children on social networking sites such as Facebook and the viewing of extreme or violent pornography and discussing it during sexual assaults.

The report found that at least 16,500 children were identified as being at risk between April 2010 and March 2011.

Not all of the child victims were from troubled backgrounds. "Children from loving and secure homes can be abused in gangs and groups, as well as children with pre-existing vulnerabilities."

Children were included in the report if they met at least three out of 13 risk measures highlighted by experts.

These included missing from home, care or school; committing a crime; using drugs or alcohol; self-harming or getting repeated sexual infections.

"The reality is that each year, thousands of children in England are raped and abused by people seeking to humiliate, violate and control them. The impact on their lives is devastating.

"Each year, thousands of children in England are raped and abused by people seeking to humiliate, violate and control them," Berelowitz says.
 
"These children have been abducted, trafficked, beaten and threatened after being drawn into a web of sexual violence sometimes by promises of love and sometimes simply because they know there is no alternative.

"This abuse and violence can be relentless and take place anywhere - as they go home from school, as they walk to the shops, in their local park.

"It is vital agencies improve the information they share about the victims and those at risk of sexual exploitation, so that children can be better protected."

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