What do we mean when we talk about revictimisation?
We recently released a new product, NetClean ProTective, designed to protect business mobile devices from being used to consume child sexual abuse material. One of the main drivers behind the development of this product is to limit revictimisation of exploited children. But, what do we mean when we talk about revictimisation?
Victimised again every time the image is shared
Child sexual abuse, whether it happens offline or online, is frequently documented and shared online. Once something has been uploaded to the internet it will be there forever; exploitative material is shared, traded, and sometimes sold over and over again.
An example from The Internet Watch Foundation , just one of the many bodies around the world that monitor the internet for illegal material, illustrates how widely images are shared and how big the problem is. They reported seeing the same image of a child abuse victim being shared 70,000 times online.
Research shows that knowledge of images and videos of the abuse being distributed around the world, has a direct impact on the well-being of victimised children. On an ascending scale, the research shows that children who have been sexually abused are even more traumatised if they know that the abuse has been documented. The trauma is further accelerated if they also know that the images have been disseminated online. This is called revictimisation; Every time an image is shared or viewed the victim is abused again.
Research shows that knowledge of images and videos of the abuse being distributed around the world, has a direct impact on the well-being of victimised children.
Technology for Good
The information above explains why an image of child sexual abuse is not just an image. It is a documented crime scene, and deeply harmful to the victim every time it is reshared. Every image that is stopped from being downloaded, viewed and shared, counts as this is how we limit revictimisation.
Child sexual abuse material can be found on platforms and devices that we use every day to connect, work and share information. This is why we advocate that every online stakeholder, including businesses with big and busy IT environments should work to protect children. Installing technology that keeps the IT environment, mobile devices and computers, clean from known child sexual abuse material, prevents crime and helps give children a brighter future.