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MCF partners with Internet Watch Foundation in new campaign to encourage reporting of sexual content of under 18s

February 13, 2019


Marie Collins Foundation has partnered with the Internet Watch Foundation in a new film aimed at encouraging men to report indecent images and videos of children.

The film explains that reporting any sexual content of under-18s that they stumble across online is quick, easy and anonymous.

Last year the IWF removed over 100,000 webpages containing criminal content.

New research shows that two thirds of men (63%) aged 18-24 surveyed say they are likely to report indecent images of children if they accidentally saw them. However, nearly half (49%) surveyed say that “not knowing where and how to report” is the top barrier that would stop them from reporting.

The new film addresses this gap in knowledge, helping young men act on their impetus to do the right thing.

Over three-quarters of men (and 36% of women) watch porn on the internet2 – and the new film doesn’t shy away from this, or that many young men may have a ‘special sock’. 

The IWF and the Marie Collins Foundation are calling on people to show their own clean socks to support and raise awareness of reporting sexual content of under 18s, with the hashtag #sosockingsimple.

Survivors of online child sexual abuse were consulted during the film’s development. They said they felt it ‘will appeal’ (to the audience), engaging them in a ‘positive way rather than being frightening or worrying’ so viewers know how to report content that can then be removed from the internet.

Tink Palmer MBE, Chief Executive of the Marie Collins Foundation, said: “We’re really proud to be part of this film. It is clear from the work that we do with survivors that the proliferation of illegal images of children online is a growing problem. Many of the people that we work with say that the knowledge that their image is being viewed online can have as bad an impact as the original abuse. Many cannot get the thought out of their head that people are able to view their images and they have no control over this. There is something all of us can do to help – it starts by reporting any images we might come across.”

Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF CEO, added: “This new creative film enables young men to be heroes. With large numbers of people watching pornography there’s some who are likely to stumble on content they just don’t want to see. Our new film guides people on how to do the right thing and report sexual content of under 18s to us so we can take action to have it taken down. One hour is all it can take us to remove a victim’s images from the internet after responding to a report.”

To view the film please head here: https://www.iwf.org.uk/onesimplereport

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“It is comforting to see that the Marie Collins Foundation is trying to address the issues of children harmed online and enabling front line practitioners to conduct work with children that is based on relevant research. I will be a regular visitor to the website and will be advertising the charity in the workshops I facilitate.”

Social worker, MCF training attendee

Marie Collins Foundation Partners