Latest helpline trends: Quarter 2, 2019

The Insafe network of helplines collects data about the types of calls that they receive and this is analysed every three months to look at trends and new and emerging issues.

The most recent data collection covered the period from April to June 2019 inclusive and saw 11,026 contacts which all related to online issues. 51 per cent of calls came from teenagers which continues a downward trend in the percentage of calls coming from this group; however, despite this, teens are still by far the largest group making use of helpline services. In contrast, the number of calls from parents and teachers have increased. There could be several reasons for this, but perhaps it indicates a growing awareness of online issues from the adults caring for or working with children and young people.

Graph showing the percentage of calls received from different groups over time

  • As usual, the most common reason for contacting helplines is cyberbullying which accounted for almost 17 per cent of all calls. Other categories have remained fairly constant with the biggest difference from the previous reporting period being an increase of three percentage points in calls about online reputation. Calls relating to love, relationships, sexuality online/sexting/sexual harassment and sextortion account for 22 per cent of all contacts and it perhaps timely that the focus of the Safer Internet Forum in November 2019 will focus solely on cyber-violence and the importance of cyber-respect. Online sexual harassment, particularly of girls and women, remains an ongoing concern and Safer Internet Centres are working to produce resources to deal with the problem.
  • Gaming is a subject which helplines are dealing with more frequently, and this has highlighted the continuing need for ongoing training for counsellors so that they are at least aware of the latest games and platforms being used by children and young people. Clearly it is impossible to educate all counsellors on even the most popular games, but having some understanding or expertise within the helpline team is desirable.
  • Online challenges continue to be highlighted by some helplines and this is something that awareness centres are actively discussing.
  • Some helplines noted that young people can have concerns around the law – they are aware of reports in the press about possible consequences for sharing indecent images (for example) and then contact the helpline as they are worried. Helplines have acknowledged that this can be quite challenging as it is causing young people to have more concern than they need to. Awareness raising is needed, but not to the point where it would introduce more problems.

Graph showing the main reasons for contact helplines from April to September 2019

Find out more about the work of the Insafe network of helplines, including national contact details, at www.betterinternetforkids.eu/helpline-statistics, where country comparisons can also be made.


Related news

Latest helpline trends: Quarter 4, 2018

The Insafe network of helplines collects data about the types of calls that they receive and this is analysed every three months to look at trends and new and emerging issues.

Latest helpline trends: Quarter 3, 2018

The Insafe network of helplines collects data about the types of calls that they receive and this is analysed every three months to look at trends and new and emerging issues.