At the end of last week a report was issued by the office of the Children’s Commissioner for England. It presented evidence which showed that significant numbers of children have access to sexually explicit images online and those exposed to such pornography were more likely to develop sexually risky behaviour. The report called for urgent action to ‘develop children’s resilience to pornography’.
But children are not the only ones to be effected by pornography.
This week’s news has included details from the trials of the men found guilty of murdering Tia Sharp and April Jones. It has emerged that in both cases the men who murdered these girls had been viewing online pornography. This must serve as a stark reminder that online pornography impacts not only those who see it but wider society too.
Although ISPs and Google respond very quickly to remove images of child abuse the degrading and violent material that is routinely available online is just as damaging. Speaking about the killers of Tia and April, John Carr, of the Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety, said: ‘we cannot blame the internet for these people but it has opened pathways that lead them on to violent pornography’.
This is why Baroness Howe’s Online Safety Bill, which calls for a default block on online pornography, is so necessary.
If you have not already done so please do take a moment to have your say. Peers should be in doubt about the strength of public feeling on this issue. Our website Safeonline.org.uk is quick and simple to use;
- it is free to use – no hunting around for a stamp
- it includes tips on who to write to and what to say
- emails sent using the site will go straight into the personal inbox of the Peer you contact
Thank you to everyone who has already used the site to express their support for Baroness Howe’s Bill. We would be really grateful if you would spread the word about this resource: could you include a link on your Facebook page, tweet it, email your friends…