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How Violent Porn Fueled a 400% Rise in Child-On-Child Assaults in the UK

By August 22, 2019 No Comments
TRIGGER WARNING

In a report by The Daily Mail, convictions of rape by those aged under 17 years old have almost doubled in just four years in the UK. A representative from the country’s Ministry of Justice has warned that extreme pornography is fueling this alarming rise in the number of child offenders.

Experts say violent pornography is influencing children to act out the aggressive, hardcore scenes they see online. For example, in one case, an 11-year-old boy admitted seven counts of rape and sexual assault on boys under 13 after he watched similar explicit images online. Legal officials involved in the case said it was clear that internet porn had sparked the sex attacks.

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Porn’s Influence on the Attacks

Statistics published by the UK’s Ministry of Justice revealed 120 children were convicted of rape in 2015, the last figures that are available. That was a 74% rise, up from 69 convictions in 2011. Of the 120 children convicted of rape, 46 were sentenced to detention and 61 received community orders. The remaining 13 were dealt with in other ways, with the average custodial sentence being 44 months.

Related: What Porn And Shame Have To Do With Child-On-Child Sexual Assault

In response to the huge spike in child-on-child attacks, Justice Minister Phillip Lee highlighted his concerns recently at a youth justice conference. “We are seeing an internet age driving greater access to more worrying imagery online,” said Lee. “In the extreme [images], the sexualization of youth is manifesting itself in younger conviction ages for rape.”

Here are just a few examples of the cases they’re talking about:

November of 2016, a boy was convicted of repeatedly raping his younger sister after becoming fascinated with online pornography. The 14-year-old, who was only 12 at the time of the crime, pleaded guilty to six charges of rape in court. His internet browsing history showed he had searched and watched porn relating to incest.

RelatedHelp! My Ex Lets Our 12-Year-Old Son Look At Porn To Learn About Sex

In August 2014, a judge condemned the “corrosive” influence of pornography after a boy who visited hardcore pornographic websites abducted and raped a girl in his town that was just 10 years old.

The latest rape and attack figures come after the Daily Mail campaigned for automatic blocks on porn to protect minors. The government responded by giving families the choice to personally block online pornography from home networks, while critics have called for tougher, more restrictive rules.

Watch: Expert Heidi Olson Talks About the Role Porn Plays in Child Sexual Assault

The Far-Reaching Effects of Porn

As concerning as these stories are, they, unfortunately, aren’t isolated. These stories show that porn is the new sex education for countless children across the world. For many, it’s their first exposure to sex, and that’s a huge problem because of what they’re learning.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) recently conducted a survey in the UK of more than 1,000 children aged 11-16, and found that at least half had been exposed to online porn. Of this group, almost all (94%) have seen it by age 14.

In the same survey, many boys revealed that they wanted to copy the behavior they had seen watching porn. More than a third (39%) of 13-14 year-olds who responded to this question—and a fifth of 11-12 of year-olds (21%)—wanted to repeat porn acts. The interesting part? These answers came despite more than 3/4 of the kids agreeing that porn didn’t help them understand consent.

Related: 11 To 14-Year-Olds Want To Mimic Sex Acts Shown In Porn, Study Finds

One of the most unsettling findings from the NSPCC survey was that over half of the boys (53%) believed that the porn they had seen was realistic. They believed that what they view in porn is an accurate depiction of sex and sexuality. This was in comparison to 39% of girls who believed the same. Many of the young girls surveyed said they were worried about how porn would make boys see girls and the possible impact on attitudes to sex and relationships.

In reference to the recent child rape cases, Chief Constable Simon Bailey, child protection spokesman at the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said that “it is more important than ever to educate young people about sexual relationships and consent.”

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Why This Matters

These heartbreaking abuse stories and the survey’s results show the massive role porn is playing in the development of young kids today. And further than their development, porn is influencing their behavior, as demonstrated by the skyrocketing number of attacks. What these children are learning from porn are skewed perceptions of sex and harmful attitudes about their natural sexuality and how to treat others, to say the least. The most graphic porn imaginable and unimaginable is more accessible, anonymous and affordable than ever before, and Fight the New Drug receives countless stories from people who were exposed to porn as young as 8 years old.

RelatedUncovering How Porn Fuels Sexual Harassment In Schools

This is a huge problem, and it’s time we act. By being educated and raising awareness on these findings, we can hopefully spare generations to come of the many harms that are directly due to this pornification of our society. It’s time we stop underestimating the harms of porn and educate those around us.

How parents can stay vigilant in protecting their kids

We think it’s important for parents to talk to their kids about what porn is, and keep the conversation open, honest, and loving. Instilling a total fear of porn in a young child may work for a short while, but it’s not a long-term help to keeping the lines of communication open. If kids feel their parents are open to listening to their struggles or questions, they’ll be more likely to approach the subject whenever it comes up instead of hiding their curiosity and searching for it on their own.

And to help curious minds from looking for answers in the wrong places, Fight the New Drug recommends tech-based solutions for anyone who needs help with web monitoring. While filters and monitoring devices are great helps to keep tabs on internet use, there’s no replacement for honest, heart-to-heart conversations between a parent and their child about the harms of porn.

But how do these conversations start, and how do they continue? This is where our friends at Bark come in.

Bark is the internet safety solution that parents trust and children like, if you can believe it.

Bark is an easy-to-use, smart tool that parents can use to help protect their children online. Bark uses a highly advanced algorithm to alert parents when it detects potential threats or signs of danger, such as:

Cyberbullying

Internet Predators

Depression

Suicidal Thoughts

Sexting

Bark is a common-sense tool that can augment a parent’s efforts to protect their children online. Parents trust Bark because it uses advanced technologies to alert them to potential online dangers without them reading through all of their child’s online activities, preserving their valuable time (and sanity). Kids like Bark because they are free to continue their daily digital lives without their parents constantly peering over their shoulders.

Interested? Start protecting your children online today.

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