Online Risk to Children - Impact,Protection and Prevention

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Target population

Online Risk to Children – Impact, Protection and Prevention, is a book targeted at adults.

Delivery organisation

This book was written by Jon Brown, the Head of Strategy and Development for The NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children). The book is published and owned by Wiley.

Mode and context of delivery

This resource is a book, available to buy online. This book is aimed at adults who are interested in learning more about online risks for children including cyberbullying, child abuse images and online grooming, and appears most helpful to those who are working with children who have/are experiencing problems online.

Level/Nature of staff expertise required

No prior expertise is required to read this book as it is an educational resource.

Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)

Readers can choose to engage with the book as little or as often as necessary.

Description of intervention

This book gathers contributions from experts on online risk, child protection and treatment of victims and perpetrators of online abuse. It examines specific online risks for children including cyberbullying, child abuse images and online grooming, offender behaviours and treatment and the impact on children of online abuse. Concluding chapters deal with staying safe online, UK policy, the international perspective and the role of schools in children's online safety. Here is a breakdown of the chapters:

Chapter 1: A Brief History of Child Safety Online, Child Abuse Images on the Internet, by John Carr

  • Unintended, Unforeseen and Unwanted Consequences
  • Sexual Images of Children
  • The World Wide Web Explosion
  • Affordability, Accessibility and Anonymity – The Three As – Provide The Spur
  • The Number of Arrests and Police Operations Start to Climb
  • The Emergence of Hotlines
  • The Birth of the Internet Watch Foundation
  • Not a Very Promising Start
  • The Terrain Shifts and URL Blocking Emerges
  • Technology Comes to the Rescue of a Problem Technology Helped to Create
  • The Role of Search Engines
  • The Unanswered Questions about Technical Solutions

Chapter 2: Children’s and Young people’s Lives Online, by Sonia Livingstone

  • Trends in Children’s Internet use
  • Parental Responses and Responsibilities
  • Digital Skills as Mediators—Why is it Hard to Get This Right?
  • The Emerging Balance of Opportunities and Risks
  • Evidence Based Implications for Policy and Practice

Chapter 3: Cyberbullying and Peer Orientated Online Abuse, by Andy Phippen

  • Perspectives on Online Child Protection From Parents
  • Policy Responses and ‘Prevention’ Mechanisms
  • Growing up in the Online World

Chapter 4: Offender Behaviour, by Helen C. Whittle and Catherine Hamilton-Giachritsis

  • The Impact of the Online Environment
  • Offending Online
  • Comparison with Offline Offenders
  • Gaps in Our Knowledge

Chapter 5: Treatment of Online Offenders: Current Best Practice and Next Steps, by Sandy Jung

  • Online Sex Offenders: Characteristics and Comparisons with Contact Offenders
  • Typology of Online Offenders
  • Theories of Online Offending
  • Intervention Best Practices with Online Sex Offenders

Chapter 6: The Impact of Online Sexual Abuse on Children and Young people, by Elly Hanson

  • Overview of Online Sexual Abuse
  • The Impact of Child Sexual Abuse
  • Characteristics of CSA that Affect Impact
  • Social Contextual Factors that Affect Impact
  • Social and Psychological Processes Following Abuse
  • Complexities to Online Sexual Abuse
  • Salient Factors Underpinning Impact
  • Promoting Resilience, Reducing Impact, Fostering Recovery
  • Research Directions

Chapter 7: Promising Therapeutic Approaches for Children, Young People and their Families following Online Sexual Abuse, by Elly Hanson

  • Effective and Promising Treatment Approaches for Problems in Childhood Arising from Sexual Abuse
  • Key Targets for Change in Therapy
  • Promising Methods of Fulfilling Key (Overlapping) Therapeutic Aims
  • Engagement and Building a Strong Therapeutic Relationship
  • Developing Positive Body Esteem and Sexuality
  • Reducing the Impact of Abuse Images Circulating and the Threat of This
  • Overcoming Shame and Self-Blame; Building Pride and Mastery
  • Facilitating Support from Families

Chapter 8: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Online, by Stephen Smallbone and Richard Wortley

  • Organising Prevention Strategies
  • Prevention Strategies
  • Primary Prevention
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Tertiary Prevention

Chapter 9: Promoting Child Protection Principles in Complex Abuse Investigation Involving Online Offending, by Zoe Hilton

  • Definitions
  • Key Principles for Operational Activity
  • Incorporating Child Protection Principles into Operational Planning
  • Principles of Working
  • Capacity and Capability Building
  • Operational Examples

Chapter 10: Staying Safe Online, by Dido Harding

  • Technology Is Changing the Rules – or Is It?
  • Embracing Opportunities
  • Industry’s Responsibility
  • Industry Action
  • The Future Challenge

Chapter 11: UK Policy Responses and their International Relevance, by Claire Lilley

  • Definitions and Terminology
  • Legislation
  • Removal of Child Abuse Content
  • Multi-Agency Approaches
  • The Role of NGOs
  • Policing Response
  • Offenders
  • Victims
  • Recent Developments

Chapter 12: The Role of Schools in Children’s Online Safety, by Martin Waller

  • Online Technologies and Education
  • The Blurring of Boundaries
  • E-Safety and Moral Panics
  • Integrating Online Technologies
  • Implications


To date, no evaluation completed on this book as a child sexual abuse related resource.


Brown, Jon (2017) Online risk to children: impact, protection and prevention. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley The NSPCC/Wiley Series in Protecting Children: The Multi-Professional Approach.

Contact details

NSPCC Knowledge and Information Service:


Contact number:          020 3772 9717

Email:                     ;

Wiley, UK:


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Information correct at January 2020