Understanding online child sexual exploitation awareness, perceptions, attitudes and preventative behaviours


With the prevalence of children and young people accessing the internet, online safety is becoming an increasing concern around the world.

The increase in young people (including children and infants) accessing the internet has seen a corresponding upward trend in cases of online child sexual exploitation, including grooming, image-based abuse, and the spread of self-generated sexually explicit material.

In 2018, the ACCCE Child Protection Triage Unit received almost 18,000 reports of child sexual exploitation, each of which can contain hundreds or thousands of images and videos.

To better understand this trend, the ACCCE commissioned market research into the current awareness, perceptions and attitudes of online child sexual exploitation in Australia.

Participants included parents and carers, siblings (aged 18–21 years) of children and young people, educators, health professionals and community members.

Key findings