Report: “Be careful and talk to an adult as soon as something happens”

In this report we have studied children’s experiences, attitudes and strategies for dealing with sexual abuse, online and outside the internet. We have also performed a comparison of children’s responses to ECPAT Sweden’s (ECPAT) online survey “Nude Online” in 2021 and 2023. The survey has been developed and refined over time, but the questions we have chosen to ask children about attitudes to sexual crimes have been retained without change – for the very reason that we want to be able to study change.

Our findings show that the vast majority of children have a positive attitude towards the internet and the opportunities it provides to help them develop, be inspired and meet others, but that the internet can also be a place where it is difficult to be open and honest, and where there is a risk of ending up in conflict with others or being subjected to crime. The internet can be a forum for inspiration but also a place where there is a risk of meeting other people who do not respect one’s boundaries. Furthermore, the internet can be a place where norms, trends and gender roles are maintained and reinforced, which can lead to a trivialisation of some crimes and a normalisation of transgressive and illegal forms of behaviour.

We can see that children’s exposure to online sexual crimes continues to be high, and we have not seen any significant change in this respect over the years we have carried out our surveys. Almost all girls and more than half of all boys have received an unsolicited nude photo at some time. We also see that, among the children who have been subjected to two or more crimes, the level of exposure to crime is at the same level as in previous years.


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