What works to prevent violence against children online?

Policies & Strategies
x, 56 p. + vi, 22 p.

This report summarizes the scientific literature on what is currently known about the most effective strategies to prevent online violence against children. It presents ways to address the growing worldwide concern of keeping children safe online, with a specific focus on two forms of online violence: child sexual abuse including grooming and sexual image abuse; and cyber aggression and harassment in the form of cyberbullying, cyberstalking, hacking and identity theft. The report recommends implementing school-based educational programmes that have multiple sessions, promote interaction among youth and engage parents. It highlights the need for improvements in several areas including: a) the need for more violence prevention programmes that integrate content about online dangers with offline violence prevention, given the overlap of these problems and their common approaches to prevention; b) less emphasis on stranger danger as strangers are not the sole or even the predominant offenders in online violence against children; c) more emphasis on acquaintance and peer perpetrators, who are responsible for a majority of offenses; and d) more attention to healthy relationship skills, since romance and intimacy-seeking are major sources of vulnerability to online violence.

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