IWF global figures show online child sexual abuse imagery up by a third

  • Hotlines
  • 16/05/2018
  • UK Safer Internet Centre

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), the UK's hotline (and part of the UK Safer Internet Centre (SIC)), has released its 2017 Annual Report with figures showing that child sexual abuse imagery is up by more than a third.

Key figures and trends from 2017 include:

  • Confirmed child sexual abuse URLs (2017): 78,589. This is a 37 per cent increment from 57,335 in 2016.
  • Increase in severity: Category A content, which includes the rape and sexual torture of children, has increased from 28 per cent of all content to 33 per cent.
  • An unprecedented increase of abuse on disguised website: the IWF saw an 86 per cent rise in use of disguised websites, from 1,572 in 2016 to 2,909 in 2017. This implies an increased intelligence among offenders who may be going to extra lengths to evade detection.
  • Europe worst offender for hosting: Europe now hosts 65 per cent of all confirmed IWF child sexual abuse imagery. This is an increase from 60 per cent last year. The Netherlands continues to be the worst country for hosting child sexual abuse material.
  • Website brands: the number of child sexual abuse website brands rose by 112 per cent.
  • Websites and newsgroups: in total, 80,318 reports of confirmed child sexual abuse were processed by the IWF, a 35 per cent increment from 59,548 in 2016.

Read the press release and full 2017 Annual Report on the IWF website.

Find out more about the work of the UK Safer Internet Centre (SIC), including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.

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