Technology and its impact

In recent years, misuse of the internet and mobile phones by children and young people has become a serious problem.

Not only can technology be used as a way to bully other children – such as by sending compromising images of a young person to members of their peer group or exposing personal information about a young person in a chat room, on a blog or through a social networking site – but they are also, at times, used by young people in a harmful sexual way.

We need to be concerned if young people have access to adult pornography and view it regularly. Although we do not know what effect looking at such material may have on their sexual and emotional development, it may adversely impact on their understanding of intimacy and personal relationships.

Some young people become involved in downloading sexually abusive images of children on the internet and may become sexually aroused by what they are viewing. Often, they have little understanding of the impact of the abuse on the child in the image and some do not understand that it is against the law to view such material on the internet.

It is important to understand the detrimental impact on young people’s personal development caused by viewing such abusive images and to take action to help them stop.

So if you have worries, then call the Stop it Now! Freephone, anonymous and confidential helpline on 0808 1000 900 for advice, support and information.

You can message the helpline using our secure messaging service by clicking here. Our messaging service is not able to offer an immediate response due to high demand. We aim to respond to messages within 5-7 working days. If your enquiry is urgent please call the confidential helpline.

Parents pack – for those concerned about a child or young person’s online behaviour

If you are worried about a child or young person who has been accessing inappropriate sexual material online, then take a look at our What’s the problem? Parents Pack, a guide for parents and carers.

This guide is for parents of children and young people who have got into trouble online either through ‘sexting’, accessing adult pornography, or viewing sexual images of children. It is designed to answer some of the immediate questions you may have after learning that something is happening, or has happened, in your child’s online life.

Online resources

You can also visit Parents Protect! and take a look in the internet safety section for more information about staying safe online, sextinggroomingsocial networking and cyberbullying.

Face-to-face help

We are able to offer face-to-face help through our Inform Young People Programme. This is an educative programme for young people in trouble with the police, their school or college for inappropriate use of technology and the internet. You can download our leaflet for parents/carers who have concerns about a young person’s sexual behaviour which gives additional information on services we can offer families experiencing problems.

If you have worries, then call the Stop it Now! Freephone, anonymous and confidential helpline on 0808 1000 900 for advice, support and information.

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