The offender is most likely to victimise close family members or relatives

In Insight 3 the police officers pointed to the fact that most people who are suspected of viewing and / or disseminating child sexual abuse material are in close proximity to children. In addition to this we asked how the hands-on offenders come into contact with the children that they abuse. Existing numbers show that 80-90 percent of all child sexual abuse is done by someone close to the child.*

This is further confirmed by the survey, as police officers point to the fact that the most common scenario is that the offender is the child’s parent or lives with the child’s parent. The second most common scenario is that they are related to the child, and it is also common for the offender to know the child through friends, neighbours etc.

The third most common way for a perpetrator to get in contact with children is through the internet. This indicates that adults who are previously completely unknown to children can easily befriend them. This changes the established pattern that an offender must be in close physical proximity to the child.

According to the survey, the least common way for an offender to contact a child is through the work place or travelling offenders. A few police officers (2.5 %) however, said that they believe that travelling sex offenders is an increasing trend.

* E.g.: The Bureau of Justice Statistics: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/saycrle.pdf

COMMENT ON INSIGHT 5

“We can only speculate as to what the real numbers are”

Björn Sellström, Teamleader, Crimes Against Children Unit, Vulnerable Communities Team, INTERPOL.

READ COMMENT

“Most sexual abuse of children occurs in the home or somewhere that is close or familiar to the child.”

More insights from the report

DEVELOPMENT OF TECHNOLOGY – BOTH A CHALLENGE AND AN OPPORTUNITY

THE “NORMAL CASE”: FEWER THAN 50,000–500,000 IMAGES

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A TYPICAL OFFENDER (Consumer of child sexual abuse material)

THERE IS A CORRELATION BETWEEN VIEWING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE MATERIAL AND ABUSING CHILDREN

THE OFFENDER IS MOST LIKELY TO VICTIMISE CLOSE FAMILY MEMBERS OR RELATIVES

CSAM IS VIEWED 24-HOURS A DAY, THROUGHOUT THE WEEK – INCLUDING HOURS SPENT IN THE WORK PLACE

TRENDS: THE USE OF CHATROOMS AND APPS IS INCREASING

TRENDS: THE USE OF ANONYMISATION TECHNOLOGIES, ENCRYPTION AND CLOUD STORAGE IS INCREASING

THOUGHTS ON THE REPORT

“To eradicate child sexual abuse we need more resources, and, most importantly, they need to be applied in the right way.”