Parents and caregivers urged to talk to their children about their online safety

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police (AFP), including ACT Policing, New South Wales Police, South Australia Police, Northern Territory Police, Victoria Police, Queensland Police and Tasmania Police. 

It has come to the awareness of law enforcement agencies that a website encouraging users to upload explicit images of young women has re-emerged online.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP), including ACT Policing, is continuing to work with New South Wales Police, South Australia Police, Northern Territory Police, Victoria Police, Queensland Police and Tasmania Police, and relevant government agencies, including the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner, as well as international law enforcement partners to evaluate this offshore website and determine the appropriate course of action.

Websites hosted overseas create jurisdictional difficulties and investigations of this nature are complex.

Police urge victims of this website to come forward and speak to their local police. Australian law enforcement agencies are committed to following all avenues of enquiry and should offences within Australia be identified, action will be taken.

It is critical for parents, caregivers and teachers to talk to their children about the importance of respectful relationships, both on and offline. Many children and young people are unaware of the legal and ethical consequences of sexting.

Under Commonwealth law, an image of someone under the age of 18 in which they are naked, in a sexualised pose, or engaged in a sexual act may constitute child pornography.

It is important to note that creating, accessing or distributing child pornography is a serious offence, even if you are a child yourself. Such offences have a maximum penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment.

We must work together to educate and empower young people to use technology safely and responsibly. Giving young people strategies to say ‘no’ to inappropriate requests or to report suspicious behaviour are paramount to keeping them safe from harm.

The national ThinkUKnow cyber safety education program is focused on preventing children from being groomed or mistreated online. For more information and to book a free cyber safety presentation, visit www.thinkuknow.org.au.

If you are a victim or you believe your child is a victim, talk to your local police or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Offensive and illegal content can also be reported to the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner, who can investigate and take action on content that is likely to be prohibited under law. The Children’s eSafety Commissioner also has information to assist parents and caregivers in educating children around the safe use of the internet via its website.

The impact of this issue can be devastating for victims. If your child needs further support, please encourage them to contact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media: (02) 6131 6333

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Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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