Introduction

We are on the right track

I am very proud of the fact that some of the world’s most respected professionals working to stop the problem of child sexual abuse have contributed to this report to share their knowledge and expertise. I would like to say a huge thank you to them, and to all the police officers who responded to our survey (which forms a central part of this report), and shared their experience and expertise.

Anna Borgström, Head of NetClean

In this year’s report, The NetClean Report 2017, the third of its kind, it is great to note how much good work is being done across the world. Even though the problem of child sexual abuse material is endemic and complex, we are on our way to tackle it.

To ensure that we continue down this path we need more knowledge. We need to share what we extrapolate from research so that we, as a society, can act accordingly – everyone can help stop the problem of child sexual abuse. This report aims to contribute to the debate and highlight established facts as to how we can stop this abuse.

In last year’s report we looked at how child sexual abuse material is disseminated. In this report we focus on whether there is such a thing as a stereotypical offender. We look mainly at those who view child sexual abuse material, but also discuss the correlation between viewing material and hands-on sexual abuse of children. In addition we look at how and where offenders contact their victims.

Understanding the nature of the perpetrator ensures that we prioritise methods and resources to most effectively work to safeguard children. Without the right knowledge and understanding we risk focusing on well-known but largely incorrect stereotypes, with the consequence that we fail to address the real problem.

New to this year’s report is that we asked a range of professionals to explain what their respective sectors are doing to combat the dissemination of child sexual abuse material. In conjunction with the expertise that the police officers share in the survey, this shows a very positive account of the work that is being undertaken and shows how important it is that different sectors collaborate.

I am very proud of the fact that some of the world’s most respected professionals working to stop the problem of child sexual abuse have contributed to this report to share their knowledge and expertise. I would like to say a huge thank you to them, and to all the police officers who responded to our survey (which forms a central part of this report), and shared their experience and expertise.

I would also like to extend this thank you to all the individuals and organisations who work to combat child sexual abuse. Thank you for the amazing work you do every day to help children across the globe. We are still facing big challenges, however we are definitely on the right track to building a brighter future for all children.