The internet connects us to people across the world. It’s an important tool that continues to provide opportunities for teaching, learning and improving lives. Children, young people and adults alike are connected online, through various platforms every single day.
At times, children are connecting with people they may not already know through social media, online games and other platforms; people who might not always be safe for children to connect with. So, how do we know the children and young people in our lives are safe online?
It is critical as adults are aware of the benefits and the risks of the internet, in particular when it is used by children.
One of these risks, is online child sexual abuse and exploitation. This type of abuse occurs when adults take advantage of children and young people online, in order to force or manipulate them into being involved in sexual acts for the gratification or benefit of adults.
Given the easy access children have to the internet, it might feel hard to monitor what they are doing online, but, really, it’s never too late and it’s important that we find ways to help them to be safe.
Along with the website and the stories of children and young people we’ve shared, the resource linked below has been developed for anyone who has children or young people in their life. The information you find here will help you learn how you can help children and young people be safe online.
This resource is very important for anyone who cares about children and young people, but that doesn’t mean it is easy to read about. Online sexual exploitation and abuse is a confronting topic which you may find difficult to read about.
While you may feel frightened, worried or upset, know that support is available to you. Try to notice any feelings that your experience and talk to someone like a friend, family member or a professional like your GP.