#HaveTheConversation: New campaign urges schools to prioritise online safety education after alarming increase in online child sexual abuse.
A new campaign by online safety experts Natterhub is urging schools and parents to 'Have
the Conversation Before Someone Else Does' after a sharp rise in the number of sites
publishing 'self-generated' child sexual abuse imagery.
Natterhub's #HaveTheConversation campaign, backed by the Internet Watch Foundation,
aims to raise awareness of the issue of online child sexual abuse, and prompt schools to
take action by embedding an online safety curriculum that will help 'have the conversation'
with children. Publishing a series of hard-hitting, real-life scenarios around sharing self-
generated content online, the campaign is designed to empower schools, parents and
children to do something about it - with support and free resources from Natterhub.
The Internet Watch Foundation states that reports of child sexual abuse imagery captured
via a webcam have “exploded” following the pandemic. They reported a 374% increase in the
number of websites they have actioned containing images or videos of self-generated
In addition, exclusive figures obtained by the NSPCC show that online grooming crimes
recorded by the police continue to climb and have jumped by more than 80% in four years.
As part of their campaign to tackle this issue, Natterhub are offering free resources in the
form of their 'Cybersmart in Seven' initiative to help time-strapped schools kick-start their
online safety curriculum in just seven minutes per week. In addition, schools are invited to
get parents involved in a free virtual online safety workshop running on 6th October at 7pm,
as well as join the campaign to #HaveTheConversation on social media. Schools can also
sign up for a free trial of Natterhub's experiential online safety learning platform for the
Susie Hargreaves OBE, CEO of the Internet Watch Foundation said: "Child sexual abuse,
which is facilitated and captured by technology using an internet connection, does not require
the abuser to be physically present, and most often takes place when the child is in their
bedroom - a supposedly 'safe space' in the family home. If we can facilitate timely and
engaging conversations with children, at school and at home, this scenario should be entirely
Manjit Sareen Co-founder and CEO of Natterhub, said: "The reality is that parents aren't aware
this is happening in their own homes, and children are not equipped with the knowledge and
support they need to navigate these situations. With this type of activity on the rise, these
conversations need to happen urgently."
Natterhub Co-founder and CCO, Caroline Allams, added: "Conversations like this can be very
difficult to have, so it's crucial that schools and parents work together to encourage open
discussions and keep them going. This starts with proper online education in schools so that
online safety is embedded from an early age, as well as giving parents the confidence to
broach this tricky subject with their children - which is where Natterhub can help."
Schools are encouraged to join the campaign and #HaveTheConversation with a range of
free Natterhub resources and age-appropriate conversation starters, available here.
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