There is agreement from MPs of all parties, experts and organisations representing children - including Barnardo's - that change in this area is needed urgently but the government still needs a gentle push in the right direction. It's time to listen to what our children are telling us - they need the knowledge that will help keep them safe. They have spoken loud and clear and we cannot ignore them.
The earlier they contact StopSO, the fewer victims are created, and the easier it is for the perpetrator to change their behaviour. Eighty-five per cent of these perpetrators referred themselves, and eight per cent were 'non-offending paedophiles,' who recognise that they have a sexual preference for children but are determined not to act on it, or break the law.
All too often, the internet is used for crimes that remain unexposed. In reality, we are in the dark about just how many problems have arisen from its existence. Just last year, a study from the UK government security service Get Safe Online, revealed that half of Britons have experienced crime online -- everything from identity theft, to hacking, to online abuse.
We've left children to navigate their way through this explicit content and decide what is right and what is wrong. Even parents who provide loving homes don't necessarily know how to keep their children safe online. Children must be better protected and understand what the parameters of acceptable sexual behaviour are, so as a society we can prevent this from happening.
Last week, the NSPCC released its annual 'How safe are our children? 2016' report. The report suggests that the Internet used in eight cases of child sex abuse every day. However, we feel that this latest number from the NSPCC is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the actual volume of child sexual abuse cases that have occurred online and go unreported to the police.
As I head towards my fifth anniversary leading the IWF, there is one consistent factor - we're always changing and growing and 2015 was no exception. Today we'll be publishing our latest figures. What stands out, is the dramatic increase in the number of confirmed reports of illegal imagery since we started actively searching for child sexual abuse images and videos.
Just grow up, eh? The sad thing is Stephen, victims of child abuse 'grow up' the second the abuse starts and they never get their childhood back. I was abused at the age of 12, not by an uncle but a former employee at my father's business. I've experienced my fair share of self pity over the years, especially when thinking about my lost childhood. However ugly you think that is, I think I'm entitled to feel that way from time to time. And you know what, it's funny you said no one is going to like me for feeling sorry for myself. That's exactly what I thought when I planned taking my own life a few years ago.