Adult viewing indecent images of children online
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Stop It Now! helpline call example: Neil
Neil, 36, called the helpline after being arrested for accessing indecent images of children.
Neil was self-employed but was not working due to depression. He had a long-term partner who was staying with her mother and had a baby on the way.
Neil said he had been accessing indecent images of children for around four years, but had not committed, and was not interested in committing a contact offense. He said that his interest in viewing illegal images of children developed when he was feeling bored and responded to a child-related pop-up on an adult pornography site. Neil was unable to explain at this point why he did so.
Neil cried during the call and found it difficult to deal with his feelings. He said he had been suffering suicidal thoughts but did not think he would act upon these.
During his call with the helpline, the helpline operators discussed, with Neil, the below points:
- Explore his current situation, including child protection issues regarding his contact with children. Children’s Services would become involved once they knew that a baby was expected.
- We talked about the legal process and what would happen next.
- We discussed his suicidal thoughts and whether he had any suicidal planning. We encouraged him to confide in his GP about his mental state.
- We provided information on some of the services available for both those who commit internet offenses and their families. This included face-to-face meetings with one of our specialist practitioners and, if appropriate, specific courses such as Inform (for partners and relatives) and Inform Plus (for people who offend).
Actions agreed with Neil:
- Identify a trusted support network and encourage them to call the helpline for advice.
- Visit his GP to discuss his suicidal thoughts
- Contact the Samaritans in times of crisis
- Arrange a helpline call-back to discuss coping strategies
- Share the helpline number with his partner and members of his family
- Call the helpline for ongoing support.
Neil had a call-back with a practitioner as arranged. As a result, he and his partner attended a face-to-face meeting where they were given information about Inform and Inform Plus, which both subsequently attended.
Neil later wrote: ‘Thank you for being there. I think I would have ended my life without this support…I would like to contribute back to the course to help others.’
His partner said: ‘The course has made me understand more about the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ and ‘whys’… it was so good to be able to talk and share.’