Viewing of online child abuse images a ‘social emergency’

The numbers of people viewing online child sex abuse images in the UK amount to a “social emergency”, says the NSPCC.

A report by the charity suggests the number of individuals looking at such images could exceed half a million.

It is calling for a “robust action plan” to cut off the supply of content.

The Home Office says it is working with law enforcers, companies and voluntary organisations to stamp out online child exploitation.

In the past five years the number of offences recorded by police of viewing child sexual abuse images under the Obscene Publications Act has more than doubled across the UK, reaching a total of 8,745 in 2015.

But the NSPCC believes the true scale of offending in the UK to be far greater.

Read more on the BBC News Website

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Mental health

Mental illness and suicidal thoughts can affect anyone, of any age, of any background, at any time. Like with physical illnesses, people don’t choose to have a mental health problem. And they need the appropriate care to get better.

Mental illness and suicidal thoughts are common issues for young people.

It can be difficult to know if a child is suffering as they often keep it to themselves. But we’re here to help you spot the signs and know how to support them.

Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.

Alarmingly, however, 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.

The emotional wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.

Things that can help keep children and young people mentally well include:

being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise
having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors
being part of a family that gets along well most of the time
going to a school that looks after the wellbeing of all its pupils
taking part in local activities for young people.
Other factors are also important, including:

feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe
being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves
being hopeful and optimistic
being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed
accepting who they are and recognising what they are good at
having a sense of belonging in their family, school and community
feeling they have some control over their own life
having the strength to cope when something is wrong (resilience) and the ability to solve problems.
Most children grow up mentally healthy, but surveys suggest that more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than 30 years ago. That’s probably because of changes in the way we live now and how that affects the experience of growing up.

Dealing with change
Mostly things that happen to children don’t lead to mental health problems on their own, but traumatic events can trigger problems for children and young people who are already vulnerable.

Changes often act as triggers: moving home or school or the birth of a new brother or sister, for example. Some children who start school feel excited about making new friends and doing new activities, but there may also be some who feel anxious about entering a new environment.

Teenagers often experience emotional turmoil as their minds and bodies develop. An important part of growing up is working out and accepting who you are. Some young people find it hard to make this transition to adulthood and may experiment with alcohol, drugs or other substances that can affect mental health.

Risk factors
There are certain risk factors that make some children and young people more likely to experience problems than other children, but they don’t necessarily mean difficulties are bound to come up or are even probable.

Some of these factors include:

having a long-term physical illness
having a parent who has had mental health problems, problems with alcohol or has been in trouble with the law
experiencing the death of someone close to them
having parents who separate or divorce
having been severely bullied or physically or sexually abused
living in poverty or being homeless
experiencing discrimination, perhaps because of their race, sexuality or religion
acting as a carer for a relative, taking on adult responsibilities
having long-standing educational difficulties.
What mental health problems commonly occur in children?
These are some of the mental health problems that can affect children and young people.

Depression affects more children and young people today than in the last few decades, but it is still more common in adults. Teenagers are more likely to experience depression than young children.
Self-harm is a very common problem among young people. Some people find it helps them manage intense emotional pain if they harm themselves, through cutting or burning, for example. They may not wish to take their own life.
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) can cause young people to become extremely worried. Very young children or children starting or moving school may have separation anxiety.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can follow physical or sexual abuse, witnessing something extremely frightening of traumatising, being the victim of violence or severe bullying or surviving a disaster.
Children who are consistently overactive (‘hyperactive’), behave impulsively and have difficulty paying attention may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many more boys than girls are affected, but the cause of ADHD aren’t fully understood.
Eating disorders usually start in the teenage years and are more common in girls than boys. The number of young people who develop an eating disorder is small, but eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa can have serious consequences for their physical health and development.
What help is available?
Parental help
If they have a warm, open relationship with their parents, children will usually feel able to tell them if they are troubled. One of the most important ways parents can help is to listen to them and take their feelings seriously. They may want a hug, they may want you to help them change something or they may want practical help.

Children and young people’s negative feelings usually pass. However, it’s a good idea to get help if your child is distressed for a long time, if their negative feelings are stopping them from getting on with their lives, if their distress is disrupting family life or if they are repeatedly behaving in ways you would not expect at their age.

Professional help
If your child is having problems at school, a teacher, school nurse, school counsellor or educational psychologist may be able to help. Otherwise, go to your GP or speak to a health visitor. These professionals are able to refer a child to further help. Different professionals often work together in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Most support for troubled children and young people is provided free by the NHS, your child’s school or your local council’s social services department.

Talking it through
Assessments and treatments for children and young people with mental health problems put a lot of emphasis on talking and on understanding the problem in order to work out the best way to tackle it. For young children, this may be done through play.

Most of the time, the action that professionals recommend is not complex. and it often involves the rest of the family. Your child may be referred to a specialist who is trained to help them explore their feelings and behaviour. This kind of treatment is called a talking therapy, psychological therapy or counselling.

Medication
Most research into medications for mental health problems has focused on adults, rather than children. Children and young people need to be assessed by a specialist before they are prescribed any drugs. There is a lot of evidence that talking therapies can be effective for children and young people, but drugs may be also help in some cases.

Confidentiality
The professionals supporting your child will keep information about them and your family confidential. Young people can seek help on their own, either by ringing a helpline or by approaching a professional directly, but your consent is usually needed for them to get medical care if they are under 16.

Young people have a right to privacy if they do not want to talk to you about their conversations with professionals, but you should still respond sensitively if they seem to be upset.

The most common reason for Childline counselling sessions in 2017/18 was mental and emotional health

2 in 5 Childline counselling sessions were about mental or emotional health and wellbeing issues in 2017/18

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Gibson Co. teen charged with child abuse

The Gibson County Sheriff’s Office has charged a 15-year-old boy with two counts of aggravated child abuse after photos circulated on Facebook showing his two younger sisters bound with duct tape, the sheriff said in a news release Tuesday.

The photos were brought to the attention of the Sheriff’s Office on Sunday.

“Investigators immediately starting working on the case and determined the images were on the Facebook page of a 15-year-old juvenile male from Gibson County and the images depicted were those of his two younger siblings, 2 years old and 6 months old,” Gibson County Sheriff Paul Thomas said in the news release. “After identifying the one responsible for posting the pictures, investigators from the Sheriff’s Office did follow up by checking on the welfare of the two young children in the photos and determined they weren’t in any immediate danger. They also conducted an interview of the 15-year-old male, with the assistance of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, where the male admitted to placing his two siblings in the duct tape, in what he described as a joke, and taking the photos.”

Investigators have discussed the matter with District Attorney General Garry Brown’s office. On Tuesday, the 15-year-old was formally charged in Gibson County Juvenile Court with two counts of aggravated child abuse.

The two young girls are not currently living in the same home with their teenage brother. Thomas said the teenager is living with a different relative.

The teenager will appear in juvenile court when his court date is set.

Thomas said the teen is not currently being charged as an adult, but the district attorney and court system will determine if he will eventually be charged as an adult.

Thomas said his department is still working on the investigation.

“My investigators are still looking into it to make sure they haven’t missed anything,” he said.

“The Gibson County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank everyone in the community that has reached out to us and made sure this case was being followed up on,” he said.

Two of the photos on Facebook were posted on Valentine’s Day and show each of the two girls bound with duct tape while lying on a bed. In one photo the 2-year-old girl’s hands and feet are apparently bound behind her back and her mouth is wrapped in duct tape. In the other photo, the 6-month-old’s hands appear to be bound with duct tape.

Another photo circulated on Facebook shows the 2-year-old lying in the open trunk of an SUV with her arms and legs apparently wrapped in tape.

The photos were shared thousands of times on social media, and many residents reported them to law enforcement.

New campaign asks everyone to look out for signs of child abuse

A CAMPAIGN to encourage people to report child abuse is being rolled out in North Devon.

The campaign, supported by Devon County Council, aims to tackle the problem of child abuse going unreported.

A third of people who suspect child abuse do nothing to report it, according to the Department for Education.

The main message of the campaign is you don’t have to be absolutely certain about your suspicions before reporting them.

The campaign, Together We Can Tackle Child Abuse, aims to highlight the fact everyone has a role to play in protecting children and young people from child abuse and neglect.

It calls on the general public to report any signs of abuse.

These signs may include:

-Changes in appearance, such as frequent unexplained injuries, consistently poor hygiene, matted hair, unexplained gifts, or a parent regularly collecting children from school when drunk.

-Changes in behaviour, such as being demanding or aggressive, frequent lateness or absence from school, avoiding their own family, misusing drugs or alcohol, or being constantly tired.

-Changes in communication, such as use of sexual or aggressive language, self-harming, becoming secretive and reluctant to share information or being overly obedient.

The chairman of Devon Safeguarding Children’s Board, Mark Gurrey, said: “Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and we would encourage anyone who is concerned that a child is experiencing abuse or neglect to report their concerns.”

The county council’s cabinet member for children’s services James McInnes is pleased the council is tackling the issue.

He said: “We want it to become a social norm that people, the public, feel that they are able to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect to the authorities.

If you have suspicions a child is being abused you are encouraged to report it to Devon’s Safeguarding Hub by calling 0345 155 1071 or emailing mashsecure@devon.gcsx.gov.uk including as much information as you can.

For further information visit www.devon.cc/reportchildabuse.

Judge Sean Enright jailed Michael Chase for 14 years and Lara Chase for 13 years at Peterborough Crown Court

A judge, who jailed a husband and wife accused of sexually assaulting a 13-month-old, has described the case as “the worse abuse of a baby I have ever seen”.

Judge Sean Enright made the comment as he jailed Michael and Lara Chase to a total of 27 years at Peterborough Crown Court today.

Michael Chase was sentenced to 14 years in prison and Lara Chase was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Passing the sentences, Judge Enright said: “This is the worst abuse of a baby I have seen and the pictures are quite appalling and horrific to look at.

The feeling of revulsion returns every time those photographs are opened.”

The court heard that the couple photographed the baby being abused before distributing the vile images via the internet messaging service WhatsApp to other people.

The court heard that in one assault security guard Mr Chase masturbated over the child, while Pharmacy assistant Mrs Chase’s hand can be seen in the photo.

 

In a second assault Mr Chase films himself sexually assaulting the baby in a hot tub in his garden, the court heard.

The couple’s house was raided by police in December 19, 2014.

Various equipment was seized including computers and mobiles phones.

As well as thousands of indecent images which were found on computers and mobiles phones police discovered the terrible extent of abuse the couple had carried out.

They were both arrested on January 29 last year.

Mr Chase made admissions in interview and pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the baby twice and making indecent images of the child on one occasion.

The court heard that officers from the police’s hightech criminal force unit investigated and found thousands of indecent images of children.

These included 4,525 still and moving images that he made and 1,577 indecent images which he was in possession of.

Mr Chase pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and 10 counts of possessing and making indecent images of children.

He was jailed for eight years for the first sexual assault and six years for the hot tub assault to run consecutively.

For the other counts of possession and making indecent images and films of children he was jailed 12 months for the other counts to run concurrently.

Mrs Chase denied all allegations but was found guilty by a jury on Monday.

She was jailed for nine years for two counts of sexual assault and three years for one count of distributing some of the images her husband took.

Mrs Chase had told the court she was unaware of the abuse but the jury dismissed her claims after it was found that her husband took the images in the same room using a flash.

Prosecuting for the CPS, Nicola Devas: “Both the defendants regularly looked after the child and indeed suggested to the parents that they could do that.

“They trusted the defendants with their child.

“They had no idea at all of the abuse (the child) was suffering.”

In a victim impact statement read out to the court by Ms Devas said: “They are thankful that the child has not been affected although (the child) is now at an age where they pick up the sense of stress and bad atmosphere this has caused.

“The affect is a huge breach of trust and they carry the guilt of letting that child be looked after their abuser forever.

“The abuse has brought a huge strain on their marriage and they are trying to stay strong for the child.

“They are concerned when (the child) is old enough to want to have sleep overs with (the child’s) friends how they are going to trust that to happen.”

The court heard that Mr Chase explained that he was seriously abused sexually as a child which led him to search for indecent images of children.

In mitigation for Mr Chase, Roger Harrison said: “This defendant acknowledges entirely the gravity of his actions and he says he feels sick about what he has done. He wants to apologise for his actions.”

In mitigation for Mrs Chase, Karen Robinson said: “Her life in reality has been destroyed by these proceedings.

“We would ask the court to impose as low a sentence as can be consistent with this court.”

She added: “She poses a low risk of reoffending and would invite the court to consider as short a period as possible.”

Mr Chase was charged for two sexual assaults, one count of making indecent images, four counts of taking indecent images, four counts of possession of indecent images and one count of possession of an extreme pornographic image.

Mrs Chase was convicted of two counts of sexual assault and one count of distributing.

Mr Chase will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 20 years and his wife will be subject to the same for 15 years.

Teenagers aged 14 and 15 arrested on suspicion of raping young boy

The boys, aged 14 and 15, were being questioned about the attack on Thursday, which happened between two schools

Two teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of raping a boy in a park.

The boys, aged 14 and 15, were being questioned about the attack on Thursday, which happened between two schools.

The victim is believed to be aged around 12.

The suspects were taken to police cells and are still in custody and being questioned about the male rape.

Detectives from a child-abuse unit have been drafted in as part of the investigation at Aylesbury, Bucks.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police confirmed that the youths arrested were aged 14 and 15 years.

The location of the attack is near to two schools, Berryfields Church of England Primary and the Aylesbury Vale Academy.

Police said that the alleged incident occurred in a park.

Detectives who are investigating the allegations are appealing for witnesses who were in the area at around 6.30pm on Thursday evening, to contact them.

Detective Inspector Phil Hayes from the Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “I would ask anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in or around Mayberry Park evening to contact police urgently on 101.

Inner Child

Hello Dear Jesus,

It’s been a long, long time.

I hope that you still know me,

I’ve been hiding quite awhile.

I know that you know all things
Still, I think I should explain,
The reason I’ve been hiding
Is because of all the shame.
I know that I don’t look so great
For meeting up with you
But I hope you understand
I’ve been alone since I was eight.
You probably see the dirt marks
And smudges on my face
But it seems no matter how I try
Some things can’t be erased.
They say that eyes are windows
That peer into the soul.
I’m afraid that if you look there,
You’ll find it dark and cold.
I’m not sure why it is, Lord,
But you won’t see any tears.
I guess they’ve just been locked up
Inside me all these years.
I know that limp and lifeless
Is my unruly hair.
I guess that’s just what happens
When no one really cares.
And if you ask a question
I won’t have much to say.
I’ve found that no one really wants
To hear me anyway.
And if you care to listen,
Sit quiet and you’ll hear
How hard my heart is pounding.
That’s because of all the fear.
You’ll notice that I wrap my arms
Around me all the time.
I do that for protection
Of the things that should be mine.
See, not so very long ago,
Without an ounce of care,
Someone took away from me
Things I never meant to share.
And if you find I tremble
When you come close to me,
It’s because of all the dreadful things
That someone did to me.
Jesus I’m so sorry
If these things have saddened you.
But when I cried out to you
You never told me what to do.
I know that in my mother’s womb
You created me
And I can’t help but wonder
Is this what I was meant be?
They say that you are everywhere,
With each and every one,
But it seems that on those dark nights
You left me all alone.
They tell me that you love me
And I suppose it’s true,
But Jesus, please remember
That he said he loved me too.

His Hand

She felt the warmth

Of his gentle hand

press deep between her thighs

Trust betrayed

Innocence lost

love was his disguise

He held her close,

His voice so soft

His tempting, careful praise,

Promises, promptings, guidance

So He could have his ways.

Ignoring her naivity

blind to her trusting eyes

devouring her virginity

with his selfish threats and lies.

the deed now done

momentarily he is satisfied

until his appetite

hungers again

for what her little body can supply.

Filled with confusion

torment and undeserved shame

Her child hood stolen

by a treacherous

soul-sucking game

Surviving unworthiness worthily

forever her life is changed.

His secret is well-hidden

behind his kind and honest face

And his charitable, Christian heart

No one suspects

the child molesting part.

Invisible bars imprison

her soul to agonizing

denial and pain

his unforgivable sin

kept alive again and again

revived by her memory

so it never ends

Forever she participates

And

Always he will win.

Essex child abuse: Increase in case probes ‘not surprising’

via BBC News – Essex child abuse: Increase in case probes ‘not surprising’.

Concerns over the handling of child abuse cases by an Essex Police team are “not surprising”, the county’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said.

Eight extra cases have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) on top of 30 already being looked into.

The investigations relate to a team covering north Essex.

Essex PCC Nick Alston said the increase was “distressing”. The force has been asked to comment but has yet to do so.

“As the review into the quality of child abuse investigations instigated by Essex Police progresses, regrettably I do not find it surprising that it has identified further cases of concern and fresh referrals to the IPCC,” he said.

But he stressed the number of cases being dealt with by the IPCC remained “a small proportion” of the total number of such cases investigated by the force each year.

“I am convinced the force is making real efforts to identify and resolve problems with the quality of child abuse investigations,” Mr Alston added.