Behind each of those reports is a child whose life has been changed forever.
Last year, government promised to put new laws in place to hold tech companies responsible for the abuse that's happening on their platforms. But children still aren't safe from offenders - the Online Harms Bill needs to be passed.
The Online Harms Bill could protect children online
We’ve helped propose a new law - the Online Harms Bill - to make tech companies accountable for the abuse happening on their platforms. To keep children and young people safe online, we need:
New rules to make tech companies put safety first.
We need an independent regulator to put rules that keep children safe in place for social platforms, with the power to investigate and fine them if they don't.
We need tech companies are made responsible for young people’s safety – with steep fines of up to €20 million and bans for boardroom directors for failing to do so.
Safer social platforms that tackle online abuse.
We need social media companies to make platforms safer by design – with safer accounts for young users, making reporting abuse easier and dealing with reports faster.
We want young people to be protected from sexual abuse when using social media.
Personal experiences help raise awareness about the sexual abuse that happens online. Stories demonstrate why the government need to introduce new laws and help us get one step closer to making sure social media companies take responsibility for the abuse that happens on their apps.
If you were affected by grooming or sexual abuse online when you were under the age of 18, we want to hear from you.
We know sharing your story can be a big step and we are here to support you throughout the process. We want you to know that everything you tell us will remain anonymous. And we won’t share anything without speaking to you first.
If you decide you’re ready to talk to us, a member of our case studies team will be in touch to speak with you.
If you’re struggling with difficult feelings and unwanted memories, we’ve got information and advice to help.
If you're worried about a child, even if you're unsure, contact our helpline. Call us on 0808 800 5000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our online form. If you're under 19 you can speak to a Childline counsellor by calling 0800 1111.
We can't do it without you
We fixed the Flaw in the Law – but it wasn’t enough
In 2014, it wasn’t illegal for an adult to send a child a sexual message. 50,000 people signed our Flaw in the Law petition calling on government to make online grooming a crime. Government listened and an adult sending sexual messages to children was included as a crime in the Sexual Offences Act of 2015. But social media platforms still don’t have safety measures in place to stop groomers.
Tech companies still need to protect their users
In April 2018 we started a petition asking government to bring in laws to make social media platforms protect young users from sexual abuse online.
In under a year we had an incredible 46,000 signatures – and government launched the Online Harms White Paper in April 2019. But the proposed bill still hasn’t passed – and children still aren’t safe from online grooming.
We're so close - help us pass the Online Safety Bill
In December 2020, Government announced that a future Online Safety Bill will place a legal duty of care on tech companies to protect young people on their platforms. Their goal is to make the UK the safest place in the world to be a child online.
But the Online Safety Bill still hasn’t been published – and with police recording over 10,000 online child sex offences in 2019/20 alone – tech companies still aren’t doing enough to protect their young users.
Simple steps to keep children safe online
Talking to your child about online safety
1. NSPCC estimates are based on the latest police recorded crime figures available (1 April 2019 – 30 June 2019) for England and Wales for Obscene Publication offences and Sexual Grooming offences. There was a combined average of 89.8 offences a day.
Published figures do not reveal how many of the Obscene Publication offences involve images of children but results from the NSPCC’s previous Freedom of Information request suggest the vast majority are.
For both offences, it is likely the majority of crimes involve the internet considering the role it can play in publishing and sharing images or the way it could be used by offenders to contact and build relationships with children.