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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-05-08

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Young men in the North West most likely in the UK to say they'd report online child sex abuse imagery

41% of young men in the North West say they'd report online images of child sexual abuse to an internet watchdog or hotline, if they accidentally stumbled on them. That's according to a new survey, published 1 August, 2017, commissioned by the Internet Watch Foundation, for a joint campaign aimed at raising awareness of internet safety with soccer giants Everton Football Club.  The report, from the polling company ComRes, looked at the attitudes of young men across the UK, aged 16 to 24, to online safety. Data in the survey reveals differences in attitudes across regions and nations, including:-

Young men in the North West are the most likely to say that if they accidentally found images and videos showing child sexual abuse online, they would report it to an internet watchdog or hotline. 41% of young men in the North West say they would do this, compared to 29% in Yorkshire and Humberside, for example.

► 22% of young men have heard of the IWF in the North West, just 13% say the same in Yorkshire and Humberside.

► Young men in the North West are amongst the most likely to say they think cyber bullying is 1 of the biggest issues on the internet, with 55% stating this. 40% say they think this issue has increased over the last 12 months.

► 53% of young men in the North West say they think the best way to describe consent is:- 'you have to have the other person's permission,' more than any other region.

The ComRes survey has been published to support the:- 'See it, Report it' campaign which kicked off at an Everton Football Club fixture. The campaign was designed to have 2 elements:- firstly, raising awareness of the work of IWF's anonymous reporting Hotline, which takes reports and removes criminal images and video of child sexual abuse from the internet. Secondly, and in a 1st for British football, to trial a ground breaking online safety workshop 'Game On', across Everton Football Club's youth teams and wider footballing community, including staff and participants at the Club's award winning charity, Everton in the Community.  The central aim of the project was to tackle online issues of inappropriate sexualised behaviours, as well as educate young men to the dangers of being online, through a series of targeted educational workshops.

Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF CEO, says:- "It's incredibly positive that nationally over 40% of young men say that they would report it, if they accidently stumbled on child sexual abuse imagery online. But we need to get that message out to more young people; and let them know that they can report these disturbing illegal images to our Hotline, anonymously.  Working with Everton FC has been amazing; they've been pioneers in online safety education. The support Everton has across the globe, has the potential to influence tens of thousands of young men. And by running these workshops, our goal to educate these young players to keep themselves cyber safe and in turn spread the positive online safeguarding message has been a real success."

Adam Green, Head of Safeguarding, Everton Football Club, says:- "This is a unique safeguarding initiative and we're proud to be the 1st club to partner with the IWF. At Everton, we have a history of putting safeguarding 1st, both for our young players and in the wider Everton community. This project takes that message one step further, we want to help young men develop appropriate relationship behaviours, both online and offline. And, in a complex online world, we want to help keep our young players, staff and community participants safe."

The 'Game On' project has been supported by an Advisory Board made up from leading charities and online safety experts. The work of the project has been fully evaluated by ComRes.


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