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Help us trace an object and stop child sexual abuse

04 September 2023, 9:13am
Media Release

Help us trace an object and stop child sexual abuse

TRIGGER WARNING: The following content contains images and details that may be distressing to some people.

Editor's note: images related to this initiative can be downloaded via Hightail.

The AFP has today released new images under the world-class initiative, Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object, in the hope of solving child sexual abuse cold cases.

The four non-confrontational images released at part of National Child Protection Week include a room with a fireplace, a bed frame with a built in radio and two linked images that feature a distinctive brick wall pattern and yellow curtains.

AFP investigators are hoping that certain details in the images might serve as clues that could help crack cases and potentially remove vulnerable children from harm.

Investigators believe the images released today are taken in Australia, and they are calling on the public to view the images and contact the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) if they recognise items in the images.

Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object was launched on 3 March, 2021. As at 30 August 2023, 192 782 people have visited the ACCCE related webpages, resulting in 908 tip-offs to the AFP.

The reports received to date have been significant and sparked numerous investigative leads.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Helen Schneider said these images were considered to be needles in a haystack, but believed the public could have a piece of information that would help police.

"Victim identification specialists have the painstaking task of going through images and videos frame-by-frame to identify anything that helps with the origin, location or the identity of a victim,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Schneider said.

“Your leads can make or break an investigation and every tip could make all the difference for a vulnerable victim.

“No child should have to endure sexual abuse and our team of investigations will never give up the fight, but we need every member of the community to be our eyes and ears to help police save victims and arrest perpetrators.

"If you recognise an object and any details about its origin, please report it via the ACCCE website. You can do so securely and anonymously.

"No clue is too small. Your small tip could be the information we need to rescue a child from significant harm.”

 “Our investigators dedicate so much time and resources to prevent and take action against individuals who commit heinous crimes against children and we are thankful for that,” Assistant Commissioner Schneider said.

'Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object' was developed and launched by the AFP-led ACCCE and is based on the highly-successful initiative devised by Europol in 2017.

The public can view the images by visiting or follow the ACCCE on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on objects uploaded to the website.

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation is driving a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.

The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into online child sexual exploitation and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.

Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse are urged to contact the ACCCE at If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

If you or someone you know is impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available at

Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

For more information on the role of the ACCCE, what is online child sexual exploitation and how to report it visit

Note to media:


The correct legal term is Child Abuse Material – the move to this wording was among amendments to Commonwealth legislation in 2019 to more accurately reflect the gravity of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims.

Use of the phrase ‘child pornography’ is inaccurate and benefits child sex abusers because it:

      • indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser; and
      • conjures images of children posing in 'provocative' positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Every photograph or video captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.

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