#ListenToYourSelfie helps young people spot the signs of online abuse and grooming
As more and more young people are using apps and webcams, Childline has seen a rise in contacts about online sexual abuse.
New figures from our Childline service show:
- the number of counselling sessions for online sexual abuse worries rose last year (2015-16) by 24% to 3,716
- most of the young people were aged 12-15 and almost two-thirds were girls
- 1 in 8 of the sessions related specifically to grooming, an increase of 21%.
"My boyfriend is older than me and makes me share pics and do stuff with other guys online. He gives me money and food when I go online and do things via webcam. I haven’t told anyone else what’s happening, I drink to forget. I’m too scared to report him. I just know I’m not normal."
A 16 year old girl who contacted Childline
Recognising the signs of grooming
The internet is increasingly used as a gateway by offenders to commit crimes including sexual assaults, sexual exploitation and grooming. To tackle this issue, Childline is launching a new campaign, #ListenToYourSelfie aimed at helping young people recognise the signs of grooming and unhealthy relationships, both online and offline.
Funded by BBC Children in Need, the campaign features two films where selfies come to life and question a situation. The Game focuses on a same-sex online grooming scenario and The Party highlights peer to peer sexual pressure and grooming.