Website to combat child exploitation material

USC researchers are working to build a website to help police, professionals and the public reduce child exploitation material on a global scale.

They believe it will be the first one-stop repository of the latest evidence-based current child exploitation material reduction strategies that could inform agencies such as Interpol – bridging the gap between research and practice.

Dr Lara Christensen and Dr Susan Rayment-McHugh from USC’s Sexual Violence Research and Prevention Unit received almost $69,000 from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) to bring the project to life as part of its Child Exploitation Material Reduction Research Project.

Dr Christensen said they would work to develop the toolkit by April 2020.

“The website will be similar to the Crime Reduction Toolkit in the United Kingdom in that it will share the best available evidence-based information on what works in terms of law enforcement, therapeutic approaches, legislation, cybercrime and forensics,” Dr Christensen said.

“It could be used by policy makers, lawyers, law enforcement, corrective services, academics, cybercrime specialists, psychologists, social workers and counsellors to inform their practice.”

“The website will be easy to use, free and interactive, so the general public could also find it informative. It will also continue to be updated with the latest research.”

Before the website goes live, the research team will seek feedback from the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation and the Australian Institute of Criminology.

Dr Susan Rayment-McHugh said the intention was to create a global tool.

“We anticipate that the website will become a key resource for many international agencies working in this area such as the Virtual Global Taskforce and Interpol,” she said.

USC’s Sexual Violence Research and Prevention Unit connects national and international researchers who are committed to establishing knowledge and evidence to understand, prevent and respond to sexual violence and abuse.

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