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ChildLine reveals concerns about children accessing pornography

24 Aug 12 - 11:04AM  | 
A new report has revealed that the number of young people contacting ChildLine after stumbling across videos of hardcore pornography on the internet has increased dramatically.

According to the child protection organisation, it has seen instances of children reporting encounters with pornographic material increase to around 50 per month.

The images have caused a great deal of distress, according to ChildLine, which warned that it was "warping" their minds as to what normal sex is about.

Some girls have, in fact, contacted the site to say that there are being pressured into recreating some of the things seen in the adult videos.

Esther Rantzen, the founder of ChildLine, voiced her concerns over this issue earlier in the year in an article for the Daily Mail.

"At ChildLine we are worried that we are hearing more and more often from children and teenagers who are suffering serious abuse from other young people," she explained.

"We believe from what our callers tell us that this may be because hardcore adult videos are now just a few clicks away for many teenagers, and this may be warping their understanding of what is normal – so they are mimicking behaviour which is quite unacceptable and frankly disturbing, even dangerous."

This view has been echoed by Jon Brown, the NSPCC’s lead spokesman on sexual abuse prevention, who warned that pornographic content sends out unrealistic expectations to young people.

"Though there are filters to block this material, they rely on users having the understanding and ability to activate them. Putting the onus on adults to make a decision to view pornography online, rather having it freely available to everyone, would go a long way to shield children," Mr Brown said.

In June, the government announced that it is contemplating proposals designed to shield young children away from pornographic material.

As part of this plan, it is considering applying additional pressure to computer users to filter out adult material.

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