Skip to main content
Hide this page

Conference 2018: From Discovery to Recovery – Online Sexual Abuse of Children

Victoria Atkins MP, Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability and Minister for Women, Home Office set the context for this, our fourth conference.  It followed the same format as the previous year with day 1 about the new developments in preventing online abuse of children, and the challenges faced by families and professionals in combating child abuse imagery and grooming of children online and the second day held at the BT Tower being more workshop based.

Delegates heard about the work the Home Office were doing in their “No ifs, No buts” campaign around educating young men on the laws relating to Indecent Images of Children (IIOC) online.  They also heard about the online investigations being undertaken by Law enforcement and how they were going about this.

The research commissioned by MCF on the issue of ‘peer on peer’ abuse was shared by Professor Andy Phippen, Professor Emma Bond and Katie Tyrrell.  This led to discussions about reparation led by Julia Von Weiler and how to safeguard children in schools led by Will Gardner, Childnet. 

The workshops on day two allowed delegates to gain a deeper understanding through workshops.

  1. New information on cybercrimes against children facilitated by Dr Sharon Cooper, Developmental and Forensic Paediatrician, USA.  This session discussed the results of a landmark study of survivors of online abusive materials. The study is prompting a fresh look at older concepts such as organised abuse, abuse across the lifespan and family angst when images exist, and its role in the psychological development of survivor children and youth.  
  2. Empowerment of a young person: working in partnership with police, a children’s charity and an independent advisor to educate young people about safety online.  Facilitated by Rhiannon, a Survivor; Will Gardner, CEO Childnet; Jane Lawrenson, NCA CEOP investigator; Tink Palmer, CEO, Marie Collins Foundation.
  3. Paths of ‘Discovery’ of child sexual abuse within NCA CEOP and the role of education.  Facilitated by Marie Smith (Head of Education) and Steve Bailey (Child Protection Manager), The National Crime Agency (NCA) CEOP Command. This workshop explored the different routes of ‘discovery’ of child sexual and the specific considerations for each and the need to tailor our approach when supporting these victims. 
  4. Is there a place for civility in our digital future? Facilitated by Jim Prendergast, The Galway Strategy Group (moderator); Jacqueline Beauchere, Chief Online Safety Officer, Microsoft; Tommaso Bertolotti, researcher, philosopher of technology, University of Pavia, Italy; Anjan Bose, UNICEF; Tessy Ojo, CEO, The Diana Award. This was a highly interactive session – where the conversation was driven by the audience who were encouraged look at things through a different lens.
  5. Collateral Damage: managing the fallout for the whole family system when one of them is suspected of downloading indecent images of children (IIOC). Facilitated by Cathie, the former partner of an internet offender; Victoria Green, Director for Strategy and Development, the Marie Collins Foundation; and Christie Knowles, former Detective Constable, Avon and Somerset Constabulary.  The devastating impact on partners and children of police executing a warrant in cases of IIOC is often not appreciated by those involved in such operations. This workshop explored how to reduce the impact and thereby better support all affected. Participants were encouraged to consider how we may better bridge the gap between procedure and impact, thus ensuring safeguarding in as supportive a way as possible.
  6. Combating Online Sexual Exploitation of Children:  The Importance of Partnership and Collaboration to Combat a Borderless Crime. Facilitated by Brianna Gehring, Senior Programme Manager, Southeast Asia, International Justice Mission (IJM).  This session explored findings from IJM’s programme to combat online sexual exploitation of children, including the importance of international coordination among law enforcement agencies, local-level response of the Philippines criminal justice system, the role of civil societies and NGOs, how to create criminal deterrence, and challenges and best practices in victim care and recovery.
  7. Assessment of Survivor Outcomes Tool, A Measurement for Restoration of Victims of Violent Crimes. Facilitated by Michele Lee, PhD, Global Director of Aftercare, IJM.  This assessment is a valid and reliable tool for measuring progress of survivors rehabilitating from various forms of violence and exploitation and identifies key areas of survivors’ vulnerabilities and strengths.  The assessment helps to identify key areas of survivor vulnerabilities and strengths, enabling a tailored plan for service provision. The tool holistically measures ‘aftercare outcomes’, enabling practitioners and service providers/organisations to assess the impact of services on survivors’ lives and to inform service provision.

Keep in Touch