Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry (Tech Coalition Safe Online Research Fund)

Primary Prevention to Protect Children: Offender-focused prevention of online sexual violence against children

Technology has progressed to the point where even without physical contact with the perpetrator, a child can become a victim of sexual violence. An integral part of implementing intervention strategies is understanding the whole picture of what is happening on both ends – offenders and victims are interconnected. 

Protect Children will take an offender-based approach – looking into who is perpetrating online CSEA, not only into the characteristics of offenders with motivation to seek help, but into those who actively seek help against this behaviour. Their study will ask dark web CSAM users about the platforms where they first encountered inappropriate images of children, why they started to use the dark web, and their pathway to CSAM use, with an aim of understanding how tech platforms can prevent CSAM users from escalating their harmful and/or illegal behaviour.  

It aims to provide new insights not only into the characteristics of offenders, but into those who actively seek help for their behavior in order to identify the factors that have significant influences on motivation to seek help of CSAM users. The findings will make it possible to identify the rehabilitation areas and develop appropriate interventions for offenders, and have concrete implications for the development of trust and safety in tech to more effectively prevent online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Suojellaan Lapsia quote