Childline urges Sheffield children to talk about porn

Stock image of children on computers

Stock image of children on computers

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A charity helpline is urging Sheffield children to pick up the phone after the number of calls by children worried about online porn increased by 60 per cent in the past two years.

The NSPCC, who run Childline, also reported a 58 per cent increase in web traffic to its advice pages for parents to protect young people from the impact of porn in the last six months.

The news comes less than a week after it was revealed that the number of contacts Childline has referred to social services, the police, or any other safeguarding agency in Sheffield has increased by 18 per cent in the last four years.

In 2015/16, 251 contacts were passed on about children in Sheffield, compared to 213 in 2012/13.

READ MORE: Number of children watching porn reaches 'worrying' numbers

Many children who contacted the free 24-hour helpline said they felt ‘ashamed’, ‘guilty’ and ‘addicted’ after viewing porn online. Some said they were pressured into watching it by other young people.

Rachel Moss-Blundell, Development Manager for Childline, told the Star: "We need to bear in mind how accessible the online world has made porn.

She explained that it has become easy for children to ‘stumble’ across adult content, ‘even if they are not intending to look’.

“Porn projects a fantasy of sex and relationships, not a reality, which is damaging to future relationships and it can take away their innocence at a young age.”

Ms Moss-Blundell added that porn can give children concerns about their own body image and a desire to achieve the ‘stereotypical look’.

She said if she could send a message to children who feel worried by porn they have seen, it would be simply to dial Childline’s number.

“If you have any thoughts or queries or feelings about porn or sex then do not hesitate to pick up the phone and talk to us.

“We are confidential, we are free, you can talk to us 24/7.”

* Parents can get online safety advice from the NSPCC’s website or call 0808 800 5002.

* Children and young people can contact ChildLine anytime on 0800 1111 or access help online at www.childline.org.uk

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