The Children in the Pictures is not just a film

– it’s a multi-year impact campaign to make the internet a safe place for children and young people.

The first step: watch the film, break the silence, and join the fight against online child sexual abuse.

Take Action

If you’re ready to do more, below are some other ways to get involved.

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Trace An Object

Help law enforcement identify objects in the background of child sexual abuse images. 

All reports are anonymous and could help rescue children from abuse.

Support Our Partners

You are not alone in this fight. Partner organisations are all working hard to prevent the online sexual abuse of children, rescue victims, bring perpetrators to justice, and provide ongoing care for survivors.

We’ll provide more information soon on how to donate to their cause, get involved in their programs, or promote their work within your community.

Start a conversation

Let’s break the silence surrounding the online sexual abuse of children and young people. Equipped with the right language and knowledge, we can speak more openly about this serious issue – in our homes, in our communities and in the media.

Looking for a good place to start? Let’s stop saying child pornography and call it what it really is – child sexual abuse material.

Discuss the film

Want to talk about the film with your class? Our study guide contains vocabulary, background information and discussion questions you can use to engage your students on the issues of online safety and exploitation. 

 

The Children in the Pictures is rated M. 

Infrequently Asked Questions

It’s time to break the silence and start asking questions.

Learn more about the issue below, and see the Find Help page for more resources.

According to Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE), the online sexual abuse of children includes a wide range of behaviours and situations. It can involve live streaming abusive content, creating, accessing and sharing child sexual abuse material and coercing and blackmailing children for sexual purposes. 

It is also becoming increasingly organised. Global criminal networks are now collaborating to sexually abuse children online, distribute material, and avoid detection.

Online sexual abuse of children is the fastest growing major crime in the world. Reports to international tiplines and law enforcement have been increasing by an average of 50% every year.

In 2020 alone:

 

Despite these huge figures, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) warns that child sexual abuse is still often underreported and unrecorded.

Grooming is a process where a perpetrator works to gain the trust of a young person or their family with the intent to commit sexual abuse.

Perpetrators often introduce sexual topics with children after just 3 minutes of chatting online. They can form a bond with a child after just 8 minutes, and can persuade them to meet in as little as 18 minutes.

Reports of this “online enticement” increased by 97.5% in 2020, according to the NCMEC CyberTipline.

More and more child sexual abuse material is being produced by children themselves, sometimes after being groomed, manipulated or extorted by perpetrators online.

In 2020, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) found that 44% of the child sexual abuse pages they took action against featured self-generated content.

The ACCCE found that in Australia:

  • 1 in 3 children aged 13–17 years old have experienced sexting;
  • 38% of children aged 8–17 years old have talked to strangers online; 
  • 20% of children aged 12–17 years old received inappropriate material such as pornography, disturbing content, or violent imagery between March and September 2020.
 
Their research also confirmed that most young people would not tell their parents or carers “if something bad occurred to them online” because they were concerned about causing anger or stress. 

It is an offence to produce, store or distribute child sexual abuse material.

If someone has asked a child to send them a sexual picture, the law says it’s always their fault – even if the child willingly sent it. Police and the government can intervene to get the images taken off the internet, or arrest the person who has them.

Online child sexual abuse, including online grooming and inappropriate contact, should be reported to the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE).

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