South Yorkshire residents seek help to stop viewing sexual images of children

Hundreds of people in South Yorkshire have sought help to stop viewing sexual images of children online
Hundreds of people in South Yorkshire have sought help to stop viewing sexual images of children online

Hundreds of South Yorkshire residents have sought help to stop viewing sexual images of children online.

Figures released today show that 577 people from South Yorkshire visited the Stop it Now! Get Help website over the last 12 months - seeking help for themselves or a friend or relative.

Between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017, the website was contacted by 386 people from Sheffield, 80 from Barnsley, 65 from Doncaster and 24 from Rotherham.

Another 22 people from the county contacted the website, but it is not known where exactly they were from.

The figures are up 63 per cent on the 354 people from South Yorkshire who visited the same site the previous year.

A further 11 men from South Yorkshire called the confidential Stop it Now! Helpline over the same period to get help to stop viewing sexual images of children online, plus eight other adults called the helpline for advice on how to help others.

The Get Help website and helpline is operated by Stop it Now! - a sexual abuse prevention campaign run by child protection charity, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.

The website offers self-help tools and resources to help users address their behaviour and stop looking at online sexual images of children.

It also provides information and support to partners and friends of people arrested for, or suspected of, accessing online child abuse images.

Tom Squire, from The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, said: “Stop it Now! has worked with hundreds of men arrested for viewing sexual images of children.

"For many, being arrested was a real wake-up call. Many knew what they were doing was wrong, but had little idea about how to stop. That’s where our work comes in.

"The first thing we do is to make sure these men understand the harm they have caused the children in these images, and also the serious consequences for them and their families if they don’t get to grips with their online behaviour. Once they understand this, they become far less likely to re-offend.

“But there are still thousands of men out there viewing sexual images of under 18s. So we need to get to them too, to help them understand what they are doing is illegal and incredibly harmful - and to get them to stop.

"People can get that help far more easily than they probably imagine - either by contacting our helpline, or by visiting the Stop it Now! website.

"Both helpline and website can provide support and information on how to stop. They are both confidential and can be used anonymously. So if you are struggling with your online behaviour, or if you know someone who is, please take that all important first step and get in touch."