Thursday 10th December 2020
#Don’tAskMe: New campaign launched to raise awareness of increase in self-generated child sexual images
A new online safety campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the rise in self-generated sexual content being posted by children and young people online, with research indicating an increase during lockdown.
The #DontAskMe campaign, created by the [Sheffield based] social media platform Natterhub, aims to give children and young people the skills and confidence to say ‘No’ or ‘Don’t ask me’ to sending sexual images or content.
Self-generated material was involved in nearly half (44%) of all child sexual abuse content dealt with by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) in the first six months of this year. This is a significant increase from 29% last year, which has been generated as a result of grooming, coercing, relationships and even bullying.
Natterhub has released a range of free resources as part of the campaign to educate young people about the steps they can take to stay safe and the consequences associated with this type of activity.
Manjit Sareen Co-founder and CEO of Natterhub, said: “You never imagine your own child sending these types of images online, but sadly it seems that asking for and sharing sexual photos has become a ‘normal’ part of growing up. Children and teenagers share this kind of content for all sorts of reasons, including peer pressure, fear of bullying or blackmail, and to show commitment as part of a relationship.”
Co-founder and CCO, Caroline Allams, added: “This type of activity does not need to be the accepted norm, and our #Don’tAskMe campaign aims to help young people recognise this and raise awareness of the outcomes of sharing this content. However uncomfortable, it's crucial that we are having these conversations with our children to help them keep hold of their childhoods.”
The free resources from Natterhub provide information and advice about why children and young people may share images, signs that you may need to talk to your child and how to start a conversation. Key advice from Natterhub is:
Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of the Internet Watch Foundation, said: “Sadly, the internet is not always used for good and, through absolutely no fault of their own, children can be targeted and groomed by manipulative online predators. Parents may not even know it, but their child may have been approached by a stranger, even in the seeming security of their own bedroom, via the internet.
“Parents and children need to know the potential dangers that lie alongside the tremendous positives of the internet. Giving them the tools they need to thrive in confidence online, and to call out and stop abuse wherever it occurs is crucial, and a vital step in making sure the internet is kept safe for everyone.”
The team at Natterhub are now encouraging others to raise awareness of the increasing problem and use the #Don’tAskMe hashtag on social media, with organisations such as the IWF and The Marie Collins Foundation joining in the conversation.
Created for ages 5 to 11, Natterhub enables children to learn about online safety in a safe and controlled environment. For more information and to download the resources visit https://natterhub.com/campaigns/dontaskme
For more information about Natterhub, please visit our Home Page.
Natterhub is an educational social media platform created to prepare primary school children to thrive online.
Our interactive lessons give children all the skills that they need to stay safe in a digital landscape, and our Badges of Honour help teachers to keep track of their progress.
Natterhub is powered by TwinklHive, and is used in over 50 countries around the world. Twinkl, a global educational publishing house, offers primary and secondary resources to 8.5 million members, across 197 countries.