Posted: Wednesday 21st November 2012 at 8:39 am

Online Porn Linked To Half Of All Child Sex Abuse Cases

Thousands of children in England are at high risk of sexual exploitation – and in half the cases, the impact of online porn is partly to blame, a devastating report found last night.

Some 16,500 youngsters – the equivalent of 20 medium-sized secondary schools – were identified over the course of one year as displaying signs of being vulnerable to being raped or otherwise sexually abused.

Contrary to expectations, many were from ‘loving and stable’ middle-class homes, with children as young as four at risk.

The study by Sue Berelowitz, the deputy children’s commissioner, into sexual exploitation by urban gangs found that the ‘use and impact’ of pornography was a major factor in 48 per cent of interviews with abuse victims and perpetrators.

She said the easy access of porn online skewed young people’s views about what is ‘acceptable, required or expected’ of sex – and could leave boys seeing girls as ‘objects to be used and abused’.

Miss Berelowitz said naive younger people were ‘wandering round’ in the ‘thicket’ of the internet, adding: ‘There are some neighbourhoods where sexual violence and a sense of entitlement were completely normalised.’
The report warned that it was ‘rare’ to find abuse cases where technology such as mobile phones and computers were not in some way connected.

This includes encouraging girls to swap sexually explicit images on mobiles, adults grooming children on social networking sites such as Facebook, and the viewing of extreme or violent pornography and discussing it during sexual assaults.

The Daily Mail is campaigning for an automatic block on online porn to protect children from stumbling across it. Over-18s would be able to access it only after opting in following a strict age-verification check.

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