2Know – gathering data on online violence against children

Improving national and international data collection on violence against children by developing a sustainable and replicable data collection model suited to gathering information about online violence against children.

In this project, we will gather data directly from anonymous offenders searching for child sexual abuse material on the dark web and the surface web, to understand more about the patterns, characteristics, and trends of online crimes of sexual violence against children today. The data collected will be analysed, producing innovative and cutting-edge research on sexual violence against children online. The findings of this research will be translated into direct preventative action to protect children from harm, through the development of a support guide for all parents on online safety skills for children in general and a separate guide for parents whose child has been subjected to sexual violence online.

2KNOW will also produce a model for parental peer-support groups, to be run in Finland and two other EU member states, to provide practical and psychoeducational support for parents, carers and families – in turn providing essential support to child victims to protect them from further abuse. The project will also collect invaluable information on child victims’ and their families’ experiences to broaden the understanding of online sexual violence against children.

Background

A recent survey with Barnahus in seven European countries established that Barnahus have experienced an increase in cases that concern child sexual violence online, or that have an online element. Cases seen in Barnahus involved grooming and manipulation, children depicted in sexual violence material, including voluntary or forced sexual posing and distribution of nude pictures/films and pictures/films of children involved in sexual acts. Extortion and blackmail through different means were also common. A few cases of children subjected to live-streamed sexual violence on demand were reported. In addition, the National Children’s Advocacy Center in the United States observes that offenders are using emerging and evolving online platforms to engage with children, for example online games with chat functions, or direct messaging within social media.

Our role

CBSS will take part in developing guidance and training on parental support groups for Barnahus, disseminate results and resources through the Barnahus Network, and support organising webinars.

This project is a complement to our work on prevention and protection under the non-violent childhood priority of the Expert Group, and to expand the psychosocial offerings for caregivers of children who go to Barnahus.

Partners

Protect Children, Finland (Lead partner)

CBSS Children at Risk

University of Eastern Finland

Funding

“2Know” is Co-funded by DG Justice European Commission and project partners

Duration

2023-2024  

Contact

Olivia Lind Haldorsson, Senior Adviser and Head of the CBSS Children at Risk Unit,

Phone: +46 73 056 45 92

Email: [email protected]