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A Million Pound Investment to Revolutionise Fight Against Online Child Sexual Abuse

November 23, 2023
Lucy Faithfull Foundation

Figures reported by the National Police Chiefs’ Council from the United Kingdom say that the police are now dealing with more than 900 people per month suspected of committing an online child sexual abuse offence.

In the next three years, the partners of the Intercept Project led by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation will use behavioural science, partnerships, and innovation to roll out online warnings across the internet to prevent this illegal behaviour. This project is a ground-breaking initiative that will tackle the growing crime of online CSA by disrupting and deterring people from offending and instead driving them toward confidential help to change their behaviour. Intercept is funded and backed by Nominet, the public benefit internet company, responsible for operating the .UK domain.

Project’s activities

Children are getting harmed online every day. They can’t protect themselves, and it’s our job to do that. The partners of Project Intercept will be working with a wide range of tech companies to help them refine and hone their warning messages, and develop new interventions for those that currently have nothing. They will be looking to involve all areas of the tech industry, from search engines and file-sharing sites to gaming platforms and social media. Later in the project, this approach will get scaled, rolling out effective interventions so that warning messages will become the standard response to those seeking CSAM online, rather than the exception.

The ultimate goal of this initiative is to stop the spread of child sexual abuse material on the internet. Over three years, the stakeholders aim to experiment with different iterations of warnings, in a wide range of online environments, to find the ‘gold standard’ for deterrence messaging. Their vision is that all online spaces will eventually adopt these warnings to offer the same hostile response to those seeking illegal and harmful material. By the end of the project, the stakeholders will create a hostile open web where offenders and potential offenders will no longer roam unchallenged. Their work will help shape new deterrence interventions.

About Lucy Faithfull  Foundation

Lucy Faithfull is a pioneering UK charity that has been working to keep children safe from sexual abuse for more than 30 years. It is the only UK-wide charity dedicated solely to this cause.

They run innovative programmes to deter offenders, drive behavioural change, and support those seeking help, including families and professionals. Stop It Now! Helpline, operated by Lucy Faithfull is the UK’s only confidential and anonymous helpline for people concerned about sexual behaviour towards children and is accessed by thousands each year.

You can find out more about Project Intercept on Lucy Faithfull’s website.

Contact address: ssmith@lucyfaithfull.org.uk

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