No ‘Grey Area’

Many people who have accessed sexual images of children believe that there is a ‘grey area’, between material that is legal and material that is illegal.

We believe that there is no grey area:

  • Non-sexual images of children: If you are viewing any image of a child for sexual gratification, regardless of whether the child is nude, semi-nude or clothed, then this is not appropriate. The police may investigate the possession of multiple images of clothed children.
  • Nude images of children on naturist websites: If you are viewing any image of a child for sexual gratification, then this is not appropriate. If the naturist images are showing nude children in a sexualised manner, then this is illegal.
  • Uncertainty about a child’s age: If you are unsure whether a person in a sexual image is a child or an adult, do not view the image. There is no ‘grey area’ here. If there is ANY DOUBT, do not access the images. 
  • The legal age of consent is 16: Whilst this is true and you can legally have a sexual relationship with a 16 year old, the legal age for a person to be in a sexual image is 18. Regardless of your opinion about this and regardless of whether you understood this to be the case in the past, you now know, so abide by the law.
  • The images are legal in their country of origin: Different countries have varying laws with regards to what age a person has to be to be shown in a sexual image. In some countries there are no restrictions at all. However, it is still illegal to access these images from the UK.
  • Sexual drawings/Manga: Sexual drawings of children are also illegal in the UK. Manga is a style of drawing for comic books and novels, which originates from Japan. There are many Manga drawings depicting children in sexual situations. These are illegal to view in the UK.
  • I’m not a UK citizen: Any access to sexual images of children from within the UK, is illegal, regardless of where you are from.

Please watch the following film to get an idea of some of the justifications that people use to allow themselves to continue offending online.

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