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Children in identified sexual images - who are they? Self and non-self-taken images in the International Child Sexual Exploitation image database (ICSE DB) 2006-15.

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Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Abuse Review
Early online date22 Mar 2018
StateE-pub ahead of print - 22 Mar 2018


Child sexual abuse and exploitation material has drawn concern and legislative attention since the turn of the century and the work to identify children in the images has been a prioritised task through international cooperation. The International Child Sexual Exploitation image database (ICSE DB) includes today more than 8,000 identified victims from nearly 50 countries. The database contains considerable important information about child abuse image crimes. The general aim of this study was to quantify the characteristics of children in identified illegal images, from the UK ICSE DB (n = 687) with the subsidiary aim to describe differences between cases of self-taken images and those whose images had been taken by others. The analysis showed an increase of identified victims during the study years 2006-2015. Almost two thirds were female, the vast majority were white and 44.3% were self-taken (34.4% taken in a coercive and 9.9% in a non-coercive relationship). Since 2010, the number of self-taken images each year has exceeded more than 40% of the total number of images in the UK ICSE DB. Although self-taken images may be perceived as less worrisome, two-thirds were classified as coercive. This is an argument to continue investigating these cases under the victim identification programmes.

    Research areas

  • sexual images, child sexual abuse and exploitation material, self-taken, children, ICSE DB

ID: 31290073