The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said Tuesday the internet is rife with videos and photos of young girls, as young as eleven, who are being groomed, tricked and coerced into performing sexually over webcam.
The watchdog took action over more than 124 thousands of explicit photos of young girls. It found about one-third of the images were selfies, self-generated.
IWF added that most of the images and videos featured girls in the age group of 11 to 13.
IWF chief executive Susie Hargreaves urged people to anonymously report such content in which they find underage girls.
Hargreaves said, “There has never been a more poignant time to shine a light on the uncomfortable truth we are now faced with.”
Calling it a national crisis she further continued that efforts are being taken to halt spread of such images and videos in circulation.
A victim supported Hargreaves’ call saying she was sexually assaulted in her own home by a fake modelling scout. She was then just 13-year-old and was groomed by the scout online.
Police discovered her images from the computer of her attacker and contacted her, who wish now to be identified as Rhiannon.
Rhiannon said, “It’s easy to think that an image is something that has already happened, but you don’t know the circumstances.”
According to a law in United Kingdom, any person can be prosecuted for taking explicit images of under-18s, sharing those or even possessing.
Meanwhile, technology companies too are being accused of not taking enough action in safeguarding children from being assaulted.