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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Internet Investigation Report

A.3: Research

17. In addition to material gathered as part of the investigation and the evidence heard in the public hearings, the Inquiry also commissioned four pieces of research:

  • an REA Quantifying the Extent of Online-facilitated Child Sexual Abuse;[1]
  • an REA Behaviour and Characteristics of Perpetrators of Online-facilitated Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation;[2]
  • an REA Characteristics and Vulnerabilities of Victims of Online-facilitated Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation;[3] and
  • University of Bedfordshire Research Report Learning about online sexual harm.[4]

18. In general terms, the research concluded that girls are more likely to be victims of reported, online-facilitated child sexual abuse. Characteristics such as having a learning disability or coming from a home where there has been physical or sexual abuse can make children more vulnerable to online-facilitated child sexual abuse.[5] The children involved in the University of Bedfordshire Research ‘Learning about online sexual harm’ emphasised the importance of children being educated about online sexual harm at primary school, before they start using social media or other online forums.[6]

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