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Under-18s replicating violent porn acts in child-on-child abuse

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children copying violent porn acts

After publishing a study examining the correlation between sexual abuse cases and pornographic content, the Children’s Commissioner for England advocated for the “most robust” online protections for minors.

Rachel de Souza stated in the second of a series of reports examining the impact on children that she desired to “turn the tide on the harms caused by pornography to children.”

The average age at which minors viewed pornography for the first time was determined to be 13, with one in ten 16 to 21-year-olds surveyed indicating they had viewed pornography as early as age nine.

The most recent report is based on more than 500 case files of child-on-child sexual abuse or sexual abuse between children under 18 provided by one police department and one Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).

Between 2012 and 2022, the Children’s Commissioner’s Office (CCO) analysed 379 interview transcripts concerning child-on-child sexual assault conducted by a police force. In fifty percent of cases, interview transcripts mentioned at least one act of sexual violence depicted in pornography.

The most prevalent form of sexual violence was physical aggression such as strangulation, strangulation, and striking, while defamation was also prevalent. 10% of SARC documents contained at least one act of sexual violence typically depicted in pornographic media, as discovered by the CCO.

A minority (10%) of police force transcripts contained references to pornography, but this proportion increased to nearly a quarter between 2017 and 2022. The most common references were to pornographic viewing, females as “porn stars,” specific categories of porn, and pornographic websites.

In multiple interviews, children who had caused injury stated that their pornographic exposure was excessive or unhealthy, with one child stating, “At one point, I was extremely addicted to it.”

A child attributed their behaviour in one interview to pornographic viewing, while a victim reported that their persecutor made references to “things he’d seen on porn” Two abused individuals believed they were treated “like a pornstar” by their assailant.

De Souza, a government-appointed advocate for the concerns and needs of children, stated that new evidence from her office demonstrated that sexual assault and violence against children were depicted in pornography. She stated that the evidence bolstered the case for comprehensive provisions to safeguard children from pornographic content in the forthcoming online safety law.


She stated, “I believe we have a stronger argument than ever before for instituting the most stringent online protections for children.” No child should have access to or be able to view pornographic material. The ratification of the online safety law must be a top priority if we are to safeguard children in an efficient and timely manner.”

A review of 32 transcripts revealed instances in which children and law enforcement attributed maltreatment to the perpetrator’s exposure to pornographic material. The CCO stated that the factors influencing child sexual abuse or violence were complex and multifaceted; however, the report provided additional evidence that exposure to pornography affected the attitudes and behaviours of those who viewed it.

De Souza suggested that the online safety bill, which is expected to become law this year, ensures that all online platforms hosting pornography have “robust” age-verification measures in place and that the bill’s measures for protecting children from online pornography are uniform across all services, including commercial pornography and mainstream social media sites.

In its current form, the measure mandates that pornographic websites restrict children’s access to their content and mandates the implementation of stringent age verification procedures. These measures may include identity verification using a government-issued ID. Pornography is expected to be designated as a “primary priority” category of content that social media platforms must prevent minors from accessing, with age verification once again among the available options.

A government spokesperson has stated that the measure will address the commissioner’s concerns. “The world’s most advanced online safety measure is designed to cover all online sites that host pornography, including commercial pornography sites, social media, video-sharing platforms, and search engines. “These companies will be required to restrict children’s access to pornographic content or face hefty fines,” a spokesperson stated. The measure imposes penalties of up to 10 percent of a company’s global revenue for violations against companies that fall within its scope.

A series of amendments currently being debated in the House of Lords aim to strengthen the bill’s provisions on pornography, including the use of the most stringent age-checking measures for pornography sites, ensuring that people appearing in pornography are over 18 and have consented, and stronger provisions to prevent minors from accessing pornography on mainstream social media sites.

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