Sexual Exploitation & Abuse/Child Sex Abuse MaterialSexual Predators/

Exploitation/Child Pornography

(older archives available here)

*Sexual Predation & Exploitation/Abuse
*Child Pornography (Child Sexual Abuse Materials or CSAM)

Sexual Predation & Exploitation/Child Pornography/Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)

  • In 2023, NCMEC’s CyberTipline received 36.2 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation online. Those reports contained more than 105 million images, videos and other files. They also saw an explosion in reports of online enticement, an increase of more than 300% between 2021 – 2023. (NCMEC Jan, 2024)
  • Someone known and trusted by the child or child’s family members, perpetrates 91% of child sexual abuse. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed April 2023), 
  • U.S. law enforcement resources are inadequate to address the problem: Over the past three months, law enforcement was not able to investigate nearly 100,000 IP addresses that are known to be downloading and sharing CSAM due to limited resources (Senate Judiciary Hearing, Feb. 14, 2023)
  • The volume of online child sexual exploitation continues to rise exponentially, and last year (2022) NCMEC’s CyberTipline received over 32 million reports containing more than 88 million images/videos and other content concerning child sexual exploitation. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Feb. 2, 2023)
  • Younger and younger children being targeted “on an industrial scale” by internet groomers. In 2021, there was a three-fold increase in imagery showing 7–10-year-olds who have been targeted and groomed by internet predators. (Internet Watch Foundation, January 2022)

  • The number of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) producers sentenced between 2005 and 2019 increased by 422% during that time period. (Federal Sentencing of Child Pornography Production Offenses, 2021)
  •  A 2022 survey of dark web users conducted by Finnish nonprofit Suojellaan Lapsia Ry found that 37% of global respondents reported seeking direct contact with a child after viewing CSAM. (Suojellann Lapsia Ry, July 11, 2021)
  • In 2021, NCMEC received more than 29.3 million (up 35% over 2020) CyberTipline reports containing over 84.9 million images, videos, and other content related to suspected child sexual exploitation (up 29.8% over 2020).  Over the past fifteen years, the number of reports of suspected child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) made to the CyberTipline has increased by 15,000% (CyberTipline 2021 Report, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children).
  • The US hosts more child sexual abuse content online than any other country in the world, new research has found. The US accounted for 30% of the global total of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) URLs at the end of March 2022, according to the Internet Watch Foundation, a UK-based organization that works to spot and take down abusive content. (The US now hosts more child sexual abuse material online than any other country , 2021 Annual Report, Internet Watch Foundation).

    The US hosted 21% of global CSAM URLs at the end of 2021, according to data from the foundation’s annual report

  • 98% of child sexual abuse material reports involved children under 13 years old, 30% of which involved children under 10 years old, including infants and toddlers. (Internet Watch Foundation Annual Report, 2021)
  • Transparency reports of seven of the biggest social networks were reviewed to find out how prevalent child abuse is on their platforms. Transparency reports typically include content removals, which are broken down into various categories. This report those related to child nudity, abuse, and sexual exploitation.
    Key findings:
    • TikTok saw removals nearly double between 2019 and 2020
    • YouTube has seen a 169% surge in removals between 2018 and 2020
    • Facebook saw a modest 3% decrease between 2019 and 2020
      Source: Comparitech, February 24, 2021)
  • 2020 was a record-breaking year, with more than 21.7 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation made to NCMEC’s CyberTipline. This marks the highest number of reports ever received in one year – a 28% increase over 2019 – and a disturbing 97.5% increase in online enticement reports alone. (NCMEC, Rise in Online Enticement and Other Trends: NCMEC Releases 2020 Exploitation Stats, Feb. 24, 2021)
  • In 2020, IWF analysts processed 299,600 reports, which include tip offs from members of the public. This is up from 260,400 reports in 2019. This is an increase of 15%. Of these reports, 153,350 were confirmed as containing images and/or videos of children being sexually abused. This compares to 132,700 in 2019 - an increase of 16%. Every report contains between one, and thousands of child sexual abuse images and videos. This equates to millions of images and videos. Of these, 68,000 reports were tagged as including “self-generated” child sexual abuse content – a 77% increase on 2019’s total of 38,400 reports. (Internet Watch Foundation, Jan. 12, 2021)
  • The United States remains #2 in hosting child sex abuse URLs:

    Netherlands 77%
    US – 5%
    France 4%
    Russia 2%
    Lativia 2 %
    Luxembourg 2%

    (Internet Watch Foundation Annual Report, 2020)

  • A meta-analysis of 37 studies found that exposure to violent or rape pornography increased a child’s odds of experiencing sexual exploitation 3-5 times. (JAMA Network, Demographic and Psychosocial Factors Associated With Child Sexual Exploitation: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, September 22, 2020)

  • Homeland Security Investigations agents made 3,771 criminal arrests relating to child exploitation in the 2019 fiscal year, marking an 18% increase from the previous fiscal year. The numbers reflected a significant uptick — 18% — from the previous fiscal year.  (Daily caller, Nov. 14, 2019)
  • Tech companies reported over 45 million online photos and videos of children being sexually abused — more than double what they found the previous year.
  1. In 1998, there were over 3,000 reports of child sexual abuse imagery.
  2. Just over a decade later, yearly reports soared past 100,000.
  3. In 2014, that number surpassed 1 million for the first time.
  4. Last year, there were 18.4 million, more than one-third of the total ever reported.
  5. Despite landmark legislation past in 2008 to reign in the scourge (which has gone largely underfunded)the explosion in detected content kept growing — exponentially. (New York Times, Sept. 30, 2019
  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) operates the CyberTipline, a national mechanism for the public and electronic service providers to report instances of suspected child sexual exploitation. In 2018 the CyberTipline received more than 18.4 million reports, most of which related to:

    (1) Apparent child sexual abuse images. (2) Online enticement, including “sextortion.” (3) Child sex trafficking. (4) Child sexual molestation.

    Since its inception, the CyberTipline has received more than 45 million reports.

    To further NCMEC’s mission and help reduce proliferation, NCMEC has sent more than 271,000 notifications to electronic service providers regarding publicly accessible websites (URLs) on which suspected child sexual abuse images appeared.

    NCMEC’s Child Victim Identification Program, which helps to locate and rescue child victims in abusive images, has reviewed more than 273 million images and videos and law enforcement has identified more than 16,700 child victims. (Source: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Exploited Children Statistics. Accessed May 3, 2019)

  • Study Key Findings:
    • Girls appear in the overwhelming majority of CSAM. 
    • Prepubescent children are at the greatest risk to be depicted in CSAM.
    • When boys are victimized, they are much more likely than girls to be subjected to very explicit or egregious abuse.
    • On average boys depicted in CSAM are younger than girls and more likely to have not yet reached puberty. 

      (Source:  Seto, M. C., Buckman, C., Dwyer, R. G., & Quayle, E. (2018, March 28). Production and Active Trading of Child Sexual Exploitation Images Depicting Identified Victim)
  • Children 10 years old and younger account for 22 percent of all online obscene-content consumption in the 18-years-old-and-under category.
  • 60% of all reported child sexual abuse material features children under the age of 12. (Interpol, 2018)
  • The annual number of persons prosecuted for commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) cases filed in U.S. district court nearly doubled between 2004 and 2013, increasing from 1,405 to 2,776 cases.

    Suspects referred for the possession of child pornography (72 percent) accounted for the majority of all CSEC suspects, followed by those suspected of child sex trafficking (18 percent) and child pornography production (10 percent). Most suspects arrested for CSEC crimes were male (97 percent), were U.S. citizens (97 percent), were white (82 percent), had no prior felony convictions (79 percent) and were not married (70 percent). CSEC suspects had a median age of 39 years, and more than half (56 percent) had no more than a high school education. (Department of Justice, Oct. 2017)

  • In a survey led by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, 67% of CSAM survivors said the distribution of their images impacts them differently than the hands-on abuse they suffered because the distribution never ends and the images are permanent. (Survivor's Survey, Executive Summary 2017)

  • 67% of Child Sexual Abuse Imagery (CSAI) survivors said the distribution of their images impacts them differently than the hands-on abuse they suffered because the distribution never ends and the images are permanent. (Canadian Centre for Child Protection, 2017)

  • Child pornography offences have exploded by more than 200 per cent in the last decade, a trend that advocates say is fueled by the easy spread of illicit material over the internet. Incidents of child pornography climbed for the eighth year in a row in 2016. The agency recorded 6,245 incidents last year, up from 4,380 in 2015. That represents a more than 40 per cent rate increase in just one year, and a 233 percent spike from the rate reported in 2006 (Statistics Canada, July 2017)

  • A 2016 study by the Center for Court Innovation found that between 8,900 and 10,500 children, ages 13 to 17, are commercially exploited each year in the United States. (Center for Court Innovation, 2016)

  • 92% of all child sexual abuse URLs we identified globally in 2016 were hosted in these five countries: Netherlands, UNITED STATES, Canada, France & Russia. (U.S. was ranked 2nd).

  • The Canadian Centre for Child Protection found that children under 12 years old were depicted in 78.30% of the images and videos assessed by their team, and 63.40% of those children were under 8 years of age. Among that same material, they found that 80.42% of the children were girls, while 19.58% were boys.

  • 42% of sextortion victims met their abuser online Thorn. (2015) Child Pornography Statistics. Thorn. [Online] [Accessed 29th December 2015]
  • Internet Safety is now the 4th top ranked issue in the list of health concerns for U.S. children. C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital (2015) Sexting and internet safety climb top 10 list of health concerns for children across the U.S. National Poll on Children’s Health, University of Michigan [Online] [Accessed 29th December 2015]
  • This year, one in 10 children under the age of 18 will be sexually abused in the United States.
    Source: (2013)

  • The United States is a top producer and consumer of child abuse content. (Thorn, 2014).

  • The "4 every girl campaign" found that underage female characters on primetime television are more likely to be presented in sexual scenes than adult women (Parent's Television Council, 2013)
  • Pornography and stripping were two forms of exploitation most likely to be written into scripts as punchy lines (Parent's Television Council, 2013)
  • There are over 747,408 registered sex offenders in the United States, and over 100,000 are lost in the system (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 2012)

Child Pornography

  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children took in 4.1-million reports of child cyber abuse [CK1]  in April 2020, a fourfold increase over April 2019. (LA Times, May 21, 2020)
  • More than 30% of the searches conducted in eDonkey P2P network are related to child sexual abuse. Thorn. (2015) Child Pornography Statistics. Thorn. [Online] [Accessed 29th December 2015]
  • As of December 2012, NCMEC's child victim identification program has reviewed and analyzed more than 80 million child pornography images since it was created in 2002. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 2012)
  • There has been a 774% increase in the number of child pornography images and videos reviewed through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Child Victim Identification Program (1.98 million images/videos) to 2011 (17.3 million images/videos). (NCMEC data illustrate the explosion. Child Victim Identification Program (CVIP), 2005- reviewed 1.98 million child pornography images and videos. 2008 – 8.6 million, a four-fold increase in three years. 2010 – 13.6 million, 2011 – 17.3 million.)