This page is the archived resources of the ROBERT project, including the reports and presentations from the final conference.

Focus group documents

Child participation / Christiana de Paoli / 21.11.2011
Prompts / Christiana de Paoli / 21.11.2011
info participants / Christiana de Paoli / 21.11.2011
privacy note / Christiana de Paoli / 21.11.2011
Motivation for focus groups_draft / Lars Lööf / 19.05.2011

Research report chapters

13.05.2011 / Alexandra Ronkina / Upload new document / new comment

Dear All, please find below all the chapters of the report that have now been returned by the proofreader and where changes have been accepted by the respective authors.

First draft of full report / Lars Lööf / 07.07.2011
This is the compiled version which is now under review
7_5 Russia / Alexandra Ronkina / 27.05.2011
1_1 Glossary – Ethel, Lars / Alexandra Ronkina / 16.05.2011
5_Risk factors_offenders – Ethel / Alexandra Ronkina / 16.05.2011
7_7 UK / Alexandra Ronkina / 16.05.2011
4_Offenders – Ethel / Alexandra Ronkina / 16.05.2011
6_1 Gender – Kadri / Alexandra Ronkina / 16.05.2011
6_3 GLBT and other – Zinaida, Anna-Maria / Alexandra Ronkina / 15.05.2011
1_2 Data collection procedure – Mare, Kadri / Alexandra Ronkina / 13.05.2011
1_3 Regional and thematic analysis – Mare, Kadri / Alexandra Ronkina / 13.05.2011
1_4 Ethical issues – Mare / Alexandra Ronkina / 13.05.2011
2 Victim behaviour – Carl Goeran / Alexandra Ronkina / 13.05.2011
3 Risk factors of becoming a victim – Kadri, Zinaida / Alexandra Ronkina / 13.05.2011
4 Offender behaviour – Ethel / Alexandra Ronkina / 13.05.2011
6_2 Disabilities – Kuno, Zina / Alexandra Ronkina / 13.05.2011
7_1 Denmark / Alexandra Ronkina / 13.05.2011
7_2 Estonia / Alexandra Ronkina / 13.05.2011
7_3 Germany / Alexandra Ronkina / 13.05.2011
7_4 Italy / Alexandra Ronkina / 13.05.2011
7_6 Sweden / Alexandra Ronkina / 13.05.2011

Rome meeting documents (5-6 May 2011)

29.04.2011 / Alexandra Ronkina / Upload new document / new comment

Dear All, please find enclosed all the meeting documents below. Wishing all of us an excellent meeting and time in Rome.

Annex 1. DoW abstract on focus groups / Alexandra Ronkina / 29.04.2011
Annex 2. Ethics and standards of child participation / Alexandra Ronkina / 29.04.2011
Annex 3. Proposed research plan for organisations – WP 7 / Alexandra Ronkina / 29.04.2011
Annex 4. Information Sheet for Participants – WP 7 / Alexandra Ronkina / 29.04.2011
Annex 5. Privacy note / Alexandra Ronkina / 29.04.2011
Annex 6. Implementation guidelines for focus groups – WP 7 / Alexandra Ronkina / 29.04.2011
Annex 7. Focus group interview guide draft / Alexandra Ronkina / 29.04.2011
Annex 8_D 2.1 Assessment methodology / Alexandra Ronkina / 29.04.2011
Annex 9_Budget (proposal form) / Alexandra Ronkina / 29.04.2011
Annex 10_Manmonths / Alexandra Ronkina / 29.04.2011
Annex 11_Project timeline / Alexandra Ronkina / 29.04.2011
Meeting agenda: 5-6 May 2011, Rome / Alexandra Ronkina / 29.04.2011
Practical information: 5-6 May 2011, Rome / Alexandra Ronkina / 29.04.2011

Interview guide in ROBERT languages

17.02.2011 / Alexandra Ronkina / Upload new document / new comment

For your reference, please see the interview guide for child victim interviews translated into languages where interviews will be undertaken. Please submit your translations as soon as they are ready.

Interview guide in German / Julia von Weiler / 05.05.2011
Interview guide in Italian / Alexandra Ronkina / 21.02.2011
Interview guide in Danish / Alexandra Ronkina / 21.02.2011
Interview guide in Swedish / Alexandra Ronkina / 14.02.2011

Ethical approvals

17.02.2011 / Alexandra Ronkina / Upload new document / new comment

For your reference, please see ethical research approvals from the ROBERT countries where such approval is required/advisable. Please add you document as soon as it is obtained.

Ethical approval Russia / Alexandra Ronkina / 03.07.2011
Ethical approval Sweden / Alexandra Ronkina / 14.02.2011
Ethical approval Denmark / Alexandra Ronkina / 14.02.2011

ROBERT Deliverables

20.09.2010 / Alexandra Ronkina / Upload new document / new comment

Dear Robertarians, it is hard to believe but the fact is – we have completed our project! And that means that all our deliverables have been submitted. Below you can see everything we have sent in. Enjoy 🙂

D 1.3.3 Six-monthly progress report  / Alexandra Ronkina / 04.12.2012
D 3.5 Final conference / Alexandra Ronkina / 04.12.2012
D 1.3.4 Six-monthly progress report (extended) / Alexandra Ronkina / 04.12.2012
D 1.5.2 Final public report / Alexandra Ronkina / 04.12.2012
D 2.3 Final assessment report / Alexandra Ronkina / 04.12.2012
D 6.2 Report from the analysis of interviews / Alexandra Ronkina / 04.12.2012
D 7.1 Report from focus groups / Alexandra Ronkina / 04.12.2012
D 8.2 Report on online grooming behaviours / Alexandra Ronkina / 04.12.2012
D 3.6 Final publication describing the main results / Alexandra Ronkina / 04.12.2012
D 3.7 Youth-friendly report / Alexandra Ronkina / 04.12.2012
D 3.8 Video clip / Alexandra Ronkina / 04.12.2012
D 4.5 Interview guide for use with offenders / Alexandra Ronkina / 13.09.2011
D 4.4 Standard child participation methodology (focus groups) / Alexandra Ronkina / 28.06.2011
D 1.3.2 Six-monthly progress report / Alexandra Ronkina / 28.06.2011
D 1.5.1 Annual public report / Alexandra Ronkina / 28.06.2011
D 2.1 Assessment methodology / Alexandra Ronkina / 25.03.2011
D 5.3 List of research / Alexandra Ronkina / 17.01.2011
D 1.3.1 Six-monthly progress report / Alexandra Ronkina / 16.12.2010
D 4.2 Interview guide for child victim interviews / Alexandra Ronkina / 16.12.2010
D 3.2 Communication and dissemination strategy / Alexandra Ronkina / 19.10.2010
D 5.1 Database with search tool / Alexandra Ronkina / 19.10.2010
D 4.1 Report describing methodologies used / Alexandra Ronkina / 20.09.2010
D 1.1 Detailed work plan / Alexandra Ronkina / 20.09.2010
D 3.3 Project web site / Alexandra Ronkina / 20.09.2010
D 4.3 Template for data collection / Alexandra Ronkina / 20.09.2010

Individual work plans

07.09.2010 / Alexandra Ronkina / Upload new document / new comment

Please find enclosed individual ROBERT work plans, one for each partner. We hope that the work plans will help you to keep track of ROBERT. The idea is simply that by looking at each month you will easily be reminded of what is going on and if / what you are expected to be doing. Meetings are marked in red and things that you are responsible for as a Work Package leader are marked in bold. Please don\’t hesitate to inform Lars and myself asap if you find anything incorrect or not workable. Best wishes from Robert the Cat

Partner 6. Linköping University / Alexandra Ronkina / 07.09.2010
Partner 5. Innocence in Danger, Germany / Alexandra Ronkina / 07.09.2010
Partner 1. CBSS / Alexandra Ronkina / 07.09.2010
Partner 2. University of Edinburgh / Alexandra Ronkina / 07.09.2010
Partner 3. University of Tartu / Alexandra Ronkina / 07.09.2010
Partner 4. Save the Children Italy / Alexandra Ronkina / 07.09.2010
Partner 9. Kingston University / Alexandra Ronkina / 07.09.2010
Partner 8. Stichting Stellit International / Alexandra Ronkina / 07.09.2010
Partner 7. Save the Children Denmark / Alexandra Ronkina / 07.09.2010

Communication Strategy, the WHO

01.09.2010 / Alexandra Ronkina / Upload new document / 2 comments / new comment

Dear Robertarians, here is the place where we discuss our Communication Strategy. So far we have preliminary divided our upcoming Strategy into 3 parts, the Who, the What and the How. In the enclosed document you will find a list of potential receivers of the information about our project. Naturally, some of those will be interested in the whole process and might want to receive more detailed information. Others will only be interested in the end results. At this point we would like you to give your opinion on \”the WHO\” part. In the enclosed document you will find a list of potential receivers of the information about our project. Please provide your comments directly in the enclosed document: you can do so by downloading it and then uploading a new version yourself. Also, please think of concrete persons and/or organisations that should receive our information, and fill this in into the enclosed template (name and e-mail address). Once we have collected your input we will move to the What and the How parts. The ambition is to have the Strategy ready by 15 October which is when we have to report on it to the Commission. But of course we can, and should, add things to it if we find new people to inform or new ways of doing it.

Contact list_Stichting Stellit International / Zinaida Bodanovskaya / 13.10.2010
1st draft Communication strategy / Alexandra Ronkina / 05.10.2010
Contact list template / Alexandra Ronkina / 21.09.2010
Communication Strategy, the Who / Alexandra Ronkina / 01.09.2010

Kick off meeting documents: 21 – 23 June

26.08.2010 / webgate / Upload new document / new comment

Please find attached the report from the kick-off meeting and copies in pdf of the presentations. Amendments and additions are naturally welcomed. Send these to me and Alexandra. Regards Lars

Focus groups – presentation on WP 7 / Lars Lööf / 27.08.2010
Lars introduction / Lars Lööf / 27.08.2010
KICK-OFF Programme.doc / Lars Lööf / 27.08.2010
Grounded Theory – Ethel\’s presentation / Lars Lööf / 27.08.2010
Report from kick-off meeting / Lars Lööf / 27.08.2010
Presentation on WP 5 research collection / Lars Lööf / 27.08.2010


Conference programme and documents

13.30 – 13.45 Welcome

Ambassador Gerhard Almer
German Federal Foreign Office
Head of Task Force
German Presidency of the
Council of the Baltic Sea States

13.45 – 13.55 ROBERT project introduction. Mr Lars Lööf, Head of Children’s Unit, Council of the Baltic Sea States and ROBERT. [PDF]


13.55 – 14.40 Online child sexual abuse: Findings from research about online sexual crimes against children and young people in the U.S. and in Europe. Dr Janis Wolak, Crimes Against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire, US, [PDF]  and Dr Ethel Quayle University of Edinburgh, Scotland and ROBERT. [PDF]
14.40 – 15.30 Online Sexual Abuse: Learning from the experiences of young people themselves. Professor Carl Göran Svedin, Linköping University, Sweden and ROBERT. [PDF]

Why Didn’t They Tell Us? The groundbreaking book written by Professor Svedin and Christina Back about children exploited in child abuse images has recently been translated to English and is available in the resource section. Why Didn’t They Tell Us?

15.30 – 15. 50 Coffee
15.50 – 17.30 Parallel paper sessions

(For presentations, please click on links for the sessions).

A. Vulnerability and Online Sexual Victimisation


B. The Relationship between Risk and Harm


C. Prevention and Assistance Strategies and Tools for Young People Abused Online

9.00 – 9.40 Online and Offline sexual exploitation and abuse: Children’s memories and reports Professor Sven Åke Christiansson, Stockholm University, Sweden. [PDF]
9.40 – 10.10 Resilience and staying safe in face of risks. Focus groups with young people with risk behaviours online. Ms Silvia Allegro, Save the Children Italia and ROBERT. [PDF]
10.10 – 10.40 Online offenders. Dr Ethel QuayleDr Ethel Quayle, University of Edinburgh, Scotland and ROBERT. [PDF]
10.40 – 11.00 Coffee
11.00 – 13.00 Parallel paper sessions

(For presentations, please click on links for the sessions).

D. Young People’s Agency and the Responsibility to Protect


E. Understanding the Interaction between Young People and Perpetrators and Supporting Young People’s Resilience


F. Ethical and Legal Challenges

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.00 Young people’s view on risk and harm online. European Panel of young people interviewed by Ms Julia von Weiler, Innnocence in Danger, Germany and ROBERT.

Ms Kairi Meresaar and Mr Hendrik Tammekiri, Estonia.
Ms Vivien Sethe, Germany.
Ms Chiara Ardigò and Mr Davide Campo, Italy

GLK group in Italy. [PDF]

Estonian young people’s presentation.  [PDF]

Italian young people’s videomessage.

15.15 – 15.35 Research on online risks: Trends and gaps. Dr Mare Ainsaar, University of Tartu, Estonia and ROBERT. [PDF]
15.40 – 16.30 Close of the conference.

Professor Uwe Hasebrink (Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research, EU Kids Online), Professor Julia Davidson (Kingston University, POG: European Online Grooming Project), Professor Carl-Göran Svedin (Linköping University, ROBERT) and Ms Evangelia Markidou (Safer Internet Programme, European Commission).

Moderated by Mr Lars Lööf (Council of the Baltic Sea States, ROBERT).


Session A: Vulnerability and online sexual victimisation

Wednesday 23 May, 15.50 – 17.30

Moderator: Kuno Sörensen, Save the Children Denmark and ROBERT

Kelly Alleyne
Helen Whittle
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, UK
Online abuse: A victim’s perspective [PDF]


This presentation will explore internet abuse from a victim’s perspective; specifically young people who are abused as part of child abuse images online and young people who are groomed online.

Firstly, image offences will be discussed. Using case examples from research and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre’s Victim Identification suite, the offence and the impact on the child will be explored. The presentation will highlight issues surrounding the impact that technology can have on this form of abuse and the consequences of this on victim recovery.

Secondly, online grooming will be discussed from the perspective of the victim. Early findings from CEOP research into vulnerabilities of child victims of online grooming will be outlined, including themes that are arising from qualitative interviews with young victims. Examples will be given of the victim’s comments regarding their experience of law enforcement and the professionals who handled the case following the report. Additionally, victim’s suggestions regarding preventative education will be addressed. The presenters will give detail how this research will progress and implications for professionals working in this area.

Helene Almind Jansen

MA Psychology, Clinical psychologist,
Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet
Centre for Sexually Abused Children (CSO)

Identifying vulnerable children online by developing an evidence based model


New possibilities of interaction between people in networks and chatrooms, offered by ICT – Information and Communications Technologies have enabled new forms of child sexual abuse. The question is whether ICT-related sexual abuse of children differs from non ICT-related sexual abuse.

Differences and similarities between cases of children exposed to ICT-related sexual abuse and cases of non-ICT related sexual abuse?

Characteristics of 28 children aged 11-15 exposed to ICT-related sexual abuse were compaired to characteristics of children at the same age exposed to non ICT-related sexual abuse referred to treatment in same period of time.

In 75% of the cases of ICT-related sexual abuse the abuse has been disclosed by and referred from the police. In comparison 47% of the non ICT-related sexually abused children are referred from the police. The risk of the abuse involving penetration is 2.7 times higher if the abuse is ICT-related.
70% of the ICT-related abused children and 45% of the non-ICT related abused children come from families not known by the social authorities before the abuse. After ICT-related sexual abuse the psychological treatment period is significantly longer.

The study indicates that cases of ICT-related sexual abuse differ from other cases of sexual abuse of children in various ways. One interpretation could be, that children exposed to ICT-related sexual abuse to a greater extend feel responsible for the abuse because of their curious involvement in the interaction on the internet. Furthermore, the ICT-related abused children more often come from well functioning families. The result calls for treatment programs taking these differences into account in order to promote sufficient recovery.


Christian Bahls
MOGiS e.V. – Eine Stimme der Vernunft

Child sexual abuse and psychological Impairment in victims – results of an online-study initiated by victims [PDF]


Starting in 2008 with the 3rd World Congress Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children & Adolescents the debate about prevention and intervention of sexual abuse started to get more media coverage. Especially with the uncovering of abuse cases in catholic schools in 2010 the debate about sexual abuse and its consequences become a hot topic in Germany.

Scientific studies regarding the perpetrators have been conducted in various ways during recent years. What seems to be lacking from the research of child sexual abuse is the victims’ perspective. Victims rarely are the initiators of such research. This could be the reason why certain aspects of this topic have not been covered adequately. Also it sends the wrong signals to Survivors, if they only seem to be objects rather than subject of the research. It sends the Impression they have to stay passive and that the discussion is about them, rather than with them.

To take in active part in that discussion the German association MOGiS e.V. (Victims of sexual child abuse against Internet blocking) decided to conduct their own study in 2009. Using their standing within the German Internet Community and social media like Twitter as well as their connection to other support groups to recruit probands it did a survey with more than 500 people including more than 50% of people directly affected by sexual child abuse.

The structured self reports from the online questionnaire includes the relationship the victim had with the abuser(s), the seriousness and kind of the abuse and what negative effects the abuse has on the life quality of survivors. Especially the answers to the questions about useful resources and resilience factors show that survivors should be given a more prominent role in preventing sexual abuse and alleviate the consequences.

Jasmina Byrne

Child Protection Specialist
UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre

Lely Djuhari
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Digital citizenship and safety: maximising opportunities and minimising risks [PDF]

UNICEF has recently completed significant studies on children’s behavior online, the risks they face and strategies to address these emerging issues. These studies range from a global overview (Child Safety Online: Rethinking Strategies and National Responses) to country-specific reviews (South Africa, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine). Currently, UNICEF office of Research is conducting a study on cyberbullying and bullying.

Child Safety Online provides a thorough insight of sexual abuse and exploitation of children online examining policy and programme responses; the private sector`s role and the challenges and opportunities for law enforcement. Strategies for effective action were drawn from several countries from both the North and South. The study highlights the importance the benefits of the Internet Communications Technology (ICT) including mobile technology for children; the role of children as agents of their own safety. A key message is building safer access should be integral to any national plans to enhance Internet access, and child protection services should understand how to address online abuse and exploitation of children.

Linked to this global research initiative and Digital Citizenship and Safety Project, UNICEF Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States carried out three exploratory studies in Turkey, Ukraine and Russia on access and behavior of young people online. The studies provided to be effective vehicles to raise awareness among the public and initiate a dialogue with policy makers on how to maximizing on ICTs opportunities while minimizing its risks.

All three studies are based on reliable Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian and international research which have been validated by national academics, government and industry representatives at UNICEF-supported workshops in Moscow, Kiev and Ankara. Researchers have further identified a need to generate primary data among vulnerable children including most at risk adolescence in Ukraine who live and work on the streets. Turkey has held a national children and parliamentary consultations with a view to further work on integrating children online abuse and exploitation through child protection systems.

Based on the findings of the above mentioned studies, UNICEF will begin developing global policy and programme guidance in support of our work in 150 countries. The UNICEF presentation will thus focus on a) some of the key findings from the research conducted by UNICEF and b) lessons learned in relation to the research process, child participation, advocacy as well as policy and programme implications i.e. how to translate the research results into action.

Session B: The relationship between risk and harm

Wednesday 23 May, 15.50 – 17.30


Moderator: Maia Rusakova, Stellit International and ROBERT

David Finkelhor
Crimes against Children Research Center
Family Research Laboratory
Department of Sociology, University of New Hampshire

7 Contrarian Hypotheses about youth internet risk and safety  [PDF]


There is a great deal of anxiety about the Internet’s negative impact on youth risk and safety, so it is useful to consider some contrarian hypothesis that are worthy of investigation.

  1. Youth engage in no more (and maybe less) online risk taking than adults.

Some data suggest more sexting, meeting unknown people and more negative online experiences among adults than among young people.

  1. The Internet has protected young people from sexual assault.

Sexual assault has declined dramatically in the US during the period the Internet has been increasingly occupying young people. Some changes in sexual risk taking connected to electronic media might explain this.

  1. The Internet has helped reduce delinquency

The Internet has reduced the problem of youth boredom, alienation and marginalization which is the source of so much delinquency. Rates of delinquency have been going down.

  1. The Internet may have helped law enforcement more than it helped criminals

It has allowed law enforcement to identify, capture and prosecute thousands of offenders and potential offenders who might not have otherwise been identified.

  1. Child abuse images may paradoxically benefit some victims

They may allow offenders to be caught, and they may reduce the need for victims to testify. These could be net benefits for victims.

  1. Much of the educational messaging about Internet safety may be ineffective.

The Internet safety messages lack the basic criteria that have characterized successful earlier prevention education campaigns.

  1. We may look back on many of our current concerns and think they were silly.

Many of the anxieties about new technologies in the past – cars, telephones, contraception — look silly from today’s perspective; why would the Internet be different.

The paper will suggest empirical strategies for exploring some of these hypotheses.

Uwe Hasebrink 
Professor, Dr. Member of the EU Kids Online Network
Claudia Lampert
Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research

From online practices to risk, from risk to harm: evidence from the EU Kids Online network [PDF]

The proposed paper summarises findings based on the EU Kids Online survey. In summer 2010 the network has completed a unique survey of 25,000 children aged 9-16, based on in-home, face-to-face interviews of a random stratified sample of 1,000 children in each of 25 countries across Europe. This network, coordinated by Sonia Livingstone (LSE) and co-funded by the European Commission through the Safer Internet Plus programme, can be regarded as a kind of complement to the ROBERT project: With its broad – in terms of the countries involved, the sample size, and the range of questions – approach the EU Kids Online study rather provides the big overview of children’s online practices and the opportunities and risks the encounter, it may serve as a kind of baseline for other studies, like ROBERT, that focus on specific risks like sexual abuse and sexual exploitation and can provide more in-depth and qualitative insights in coping strategies and resilience.


Given the thematic focus of the ROBERT conference we propose to present findings on the following issues: Which patterns of online usage can be observed throughout Europe? How are they related to indicators of online literacy? What is the prevalence of certain risk experiences, particularly seeing sexual images, sending/receiving sexual messages, bullying/being bullied, and meeting new people? What are the psychological and social factors leading to more or less risk experience? How is risk linked with harm? What are the psychological and social factors leading to more or less harm experience? Which strategies of parental mediation are linked with higher or lower levels of risk and harm?


In a final step we will discuss the differences between European countries with respect to children’s online practices and experiences of risk and harm and to what extent these differences should lead to different recommendations regarding internet safety.


Linda Jonsson
Linköping University

Online I am someone else… Young women with experiences of selling sex online [PDF]


This presentation is based on a recent interview study with 11 young women (15-25 years old) and their experiences of selling sex online while under the age of 18. More specifically, the significance of the Internet and Mobile phone in the process of selling sex was explored, but also the process of establishing contacts online. Moreover, the young person’s life situation and description of possible reasons for selling sex was investigated.

The 11 informants described the Internet and mobile phone as important when getting in contact with the buyers, but also as an arena for selling sex (e.g. webcam sex and pictures/films). The informants reported of different ways of getting in contact with the buyers and different degrees of own activity, from being contacted on a youth community to advertising on a website for prostitutes. Frequent themes in the interviews were the informants worry regarding the existence of sexual images and films but also abusive situation when films and pictures were taken.

The informants described feelings of self-contempt and selling of sex as way of handling anxiety. Another common theme was the experiences of sexual abuse or other traumatic experiences.

Olga Kolpakova
Alexandra Lyubimova
Olga Levina
NGO Stellit International

Understanding risky online behaviour of 14 – 17 years old Russian children (St Petersburg and Leningrad region sample) [PDF]

In 2010 – 2011 with the support from NGO “Soprotivlenie” (grant No.300-rp, according to the instruction of President of Russian Federation, May 8, 2010) and NGO “Vriema Git” NGO Stellit has initiated the study aimed to characterize the influence of ICT on the daily life of 14-17 years old children. One of the components of the study was offline survey among 14-17 years old children who study in different types of educational institutions (schools, vocational schools, and universities) in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region (N=1000).

The study has shown in particular that there is a significant number of children who practice risky online behavior and actively create situations which could be potentially harmful for them. Thus, at least once during last 12 months 63,9% of respondents added to their friends list in social networks or address book people whom they never met in real life, 61,8% were looking for a new friends online, 42,2% sent personal contact details (address, telephone number) and 37,6% sent photos and videos containing images of themselves to people whom they never met in real life. More then half of respondents (52,3%) have ever dated someone whom they initially met online. Median number of acquaintances from the Internet met in real life was four. Most frequent negative outcomes from real life meetings were the following: false age of new acquaintance (7,5%), verbal abusive behavior of the new acquaintance (4,8%), and even sexual harassment (2,7%).

In the presentation we would like to compare groups of children who practice risky behavior online and children who stay safe online. Using T-test, χ2 test and OR we will check if there are any significant differences in their gender, age, level of income, the size of the city where they live, type of family, number of siblings, satisfaction with relationships with friends, type of educational institution, progress in school, characteristics of parental control over their Internet use and experience of discussions on Internet safety issues with parents and/or teachers.

Session C: Prevention, assistance and tools for young people abused online

Wednesday 23 May 15.50 – 17.30

Moderator: Mare Ainsaar, University of Tartu and ROBERT


Stefanie Rack
Franziska Hahn
“Klicksafe” Germany

Enabling young people to recognize sexual boundary violations (in the media), to know their own limits and to fend off attacks [PDF]


Working with the educational material “Let’s talk about porn – youth sexuality, Internet and pornography”


Realizing the lack of practice-related material connecting sex education to media education, klicksafe, pro familia Bavaria and the state media center of Baden-Württemberg have confronted the issue of online pornography use by teenagers and developed a teaching material entitled “Let’s talk about porn – youth sexuality, Internet and pornography ” .

The material is divided into four modules, each module comprising factual background information as well as numerous worksheets to be used with students in class. It also contains a self-evaluation form that can help educators to reflect their own attitude towards the sensitive and intimate topic of sexuality and pornography .

Module 1 covers the fundamental physical and psychosocial changes that adolescents experience during puberty. It thus provides background information for talking to young people about sex and porn movies.

Module 2 deals with the pressure to be physically attractive and to expose themselves in social media that teenagers encounter, and the way this pressure is built up through advertising, television, and pornography.

One worksheet, f.ex., addresses the issue of naive sexualized self-presentation in social networks and the potential consequences of privacy and intimacy-loss on the internet.

Module 3 explains how and why young people consume pornography and how pornography affects teenagers. It points out risks as well as opportunities for discussion.

Module 4 illustrates how the sexualization and pornographication of modern media affects youth language and social relations between young people, from humiliating “sex language” that accesses the language of young people to sexual grooming in social communities or chats. One worksheet explains, for example, the issue of anonymity in chats and focuses on the initiation of sexual contact in chat conversation.

The material has been developed to enable teenagers to recognize and ward off grooming by developing technical skills as well as intrapersonal strategies of defense. Discussing it in class can also serve as an occasion for affected youngsters to talk about their experiences. (However, if any case of abuse is uncovered during a lesson, teachers and educators are advised to contact experts for professional help.) The presentation will cover content and overall conception of the teaching material. Selected worksheets will be presented in detail.


  1. Julia von Weiler
    Innocence in Danger
    GermanySmart User Prevention programme against online sexual abuse in Germany [PDF]

This session will introduce practical, hands on prevention ground work dealing with online sexual abuse in Germany by Innocence in Danger e.V.


The “Smart User Preventionprogram” against online sexual abuse consists – so far – of 3 parts.

  1. being work material which can be used immediately by teachers, pedagogues, etc. to talk about the issue with youngsters (
  2. “Smart User Peer2Peer Prevention” trains older adolescents in becoming “Smart User Trainer” in order to inform and sensitize younger adolescents about online risks and safety measures.
  3. “Offline” is an interactive Preventionadventure for adolescents aged 11 to 14 in which they turn into super agents who will defend their rights to use the internet, fight criminals and learn about safety measures online.


Iris Hölling

M.A., Director Wildwasser e.V. Berlin
Stefanie Höver

Online counselling as means to support youth experiencing sexual violence [PDF]


Wildwasser e.V. the eldest NGO working against sexual abuse of girls and women in Germany has been offering online counseling for more than 10 years. Meeting youth where they are and spend a lot of time is like virtual streetwork.

We have found that online counseling, especially via chat is a means to access girls who are still in an acute situation of sexual abuse.

This form of support via email and chat is easy to access for many youth and young adults who are isolated, live in small communities or face other barriers (e.g. disabilities). The threshold is much lower than to contact us via telephone or face to face.


Online counseling distinguishes itself by being a very direct form of communication that is not distracted by appearance or external factors but very often comes directly to the point.


Online counseling has many advantages for girls and young women, who have to suffer from sexualized violence.It gives them the possibility to stay anonymous, to keep control of the whole situation. Furthermore they can decide how much they show of themselves, their thoughts and feelings or can even leave the chat-room whenever they want to.

As they are not seen in this form of communication, shame is not felt as such a big obstacle for talking about the sexual violence they had to experience. These characteristics allow girls to stay in contact with the counselor and feel supported to find ways to change their situations, to stop the abuse and protect themselves.

Online counseling may lead to face to face counseling, but can also stand alone as form of support.

Single contacts or counselling series can take place.


The authors will present the experiences they have gathered in supporting victimized girls by means of online counseling. Online counseling can be seen as an efficient tool for child protection via the new media.

Barbara Buchegger

Enabling teachers for cyber-grooming prevention [PDF]

Sexting, cyber-grooming, online-luring: new words for new behaviour? Teachers are often not able to cope with such phenomena and do not really know what to do as prevention in their classroom activities.

Ch@dvise, a project funded by DAPHNE III, tries to offer help in form of a teacher’s handbook on „sex, Violence and digital media“. This presentation will focus on concrete examples on how to do specific classroom activities and what to do in which age.

Such activities also include finding usefull online help, in case a child has experienced such a situation.

Examples from 20 classroom activities for children in age between 6-18 for all subjects are presented.

D: Young people’s agency and the responsibility to protect

Thursday 24 May, 11.00 – 13.00

Moderator: Carl Göran Svedin, Linköping University and ROBERT

Mary Aiken 
Research Fellow, Cyberpsychologist
Institute of Leadership
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland,

Mike Berry
Clinical Forensic Psychologist
Manchester Metropolitan University

Ciaran O Boyle
Professor of Psychology,
Head of RCSI Institute of Leadership

Behavioural Escalation Online: Self-Generated Content

The uploading of self-generated inappropriate material by Internet users, including many children and adolescents is a recent and growing phenomenon. This behaviour can escalate, resulting in children and young people engaging in increasingly risky behaviour (Leary, 2010; Wolak, Finkelhor, & Mitchell, 2011). This can even lead individuals to generate and distribute images of themselves that are similar to material generated by child abusers (Quayle & Jones, 2011). The aim of this preliminary study is to develop an empirical methodology to classify self-generated images. 200 cases, relating to inappropriate self-generated images, investigated by UK police forces between 2009 and 2012 will be examined. Subjects will be anonymised and classified by, inter alia, gender, age and ethnic group. Images will be classified according to the COPINE scale and will also be evaluated by raters using a new measure specifically developed for the study: the Self-Generated Image Analysis Template (S.G.I.A.T). The study will seek to identify the risks and consequences of this type of cyber-behaviour and the psychological factors that influence motivation and self-presentation. The explanatory value of the new construct of “Aspirational Affect” (younger females and possibly males trying to present themselves as being older) will be evaluated. It is anticipated that the findings will be relevant for police forces, legal professionals, practitioners, parents/guardians and statutory bodies concerned with the development and safety of children and adolescents in the internet age.

This research is supported by the Child Abuse Command of the Metropolitan Police, the INTERPOL Specialists Group on Crimes Against Children and by the RCSI Institute of Leadership.

Leary, M. (2010). Sexting or Self-Produced Child Pornography? The Dialogue Continues – Structured Prosecutorial Discretion within a Multidisciplinary Response. Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, Vol. 17, No. 3, Spring 2010. SSRN. doi:10.2139/ssrn.1657007

Quayle, E., & Jones, T. (2011). Sexualized images of children on the Internet. Sexual abuse : a journal of research and treatment, 23(1), 7-21. doi:10.1177/1079063210392596


Linda Jonsson (Presenter)
Ph D Student
University of Linköping

Giesela Priebe
Psychologist, Ph D
Dept. of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, IKVL
Lund University

Voluntary sexual exposure online among Swedish youth [PDF]

The presentation will focus on results from a resent study regarding voluntary sexual exposure online. The purpose of the study was to investigate Swedish youth with experience of voluntary sexual exposure online, with regard to Internet behavior, social background and psychosocial health including parent- child relation. A representative sample of 3 503 Swedish youth in their third year of high school completed an anonymous survey about Internet behavior, Internet-related sexual harassment, sexuality, health and sexual abuse. Out of the youth taking part in the survey, 20.9% (19.2% boys and 22.3% girls) reported experiences of voluntary sexual exposure online. Major differences were found between the index and the reference group regarding Internet behavior. Few differences were found regarding social background but the voluntary sexual exposure online was associated with lower psychosocial health and poorer parent- child relationship. The study shows that there is a need for parents and professionals to better understand what young people do on the Internet and the risks they may incur.


Naureen Kahn 
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, NSPCC

Jon Brown
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, NSPCC
‘Sexting’: Young people living in the online and offline world [PDF]



To explore how ‘sexting’ is practised and experienced by a diverse sample of young people. Our emphasis is upon understanding the qualitative dimensions of ‘sexting’ and the meanings it is given by young people themselves. ‘Sexting’ is defined in a broad way combining a focus on mobile phones and internet usage to explore the exchange of sexually explicit content through mobile technologies.


This pilot study was conducted in two inner-city state schools in London, UK from June-August 2011. We worked across years 8 and 10 with 8 single-gender focus groups, following up with online ethnography and 20 individual case study interviews. We conducted 10 school staff interviews.


Our findings suggest that ‘sexting’ is inextricably linked to offline experiences, with the sending, receiving, saving and sharing of sexually explicit pictures one of the ways hierarchies of gender and popularity are maintained in young people’s social lives. ‘Sexting’ was differently experienced and understood in relation to social positions of gender, class and ‘race’. We found that technology was just one way that sexism and bullying were experienced, with participants equally concerned about incidents in the ‘real world’ such as sexual harassment (touching up, name-calling), peer pressure (to buy goods or be sexually ‘experienced’) and violence (fighting).


Our study suggests that mobile technologies can be a useful tool for young people, but are bound up in relationships of power that exist in the online and offline world. Comparisons with research we are conducting elsewhere suggests young people’s experiences also vary by location. More research is needed to understand young people and ‘sexting’ across the UK. Some policy implications are the need for ‘sexting’ to be included in the recently announced review of Personal Health and Social Education in the UK school curriculum and for our developing understanding of the issue to inform the development of Sex and Relationships Education in schools.

E: Understanding the interaction between young people and perpetrators – supporting young people’s resilience

Thursday 24 May 11.00 – 13.00

Moderator: Ethel Quayle, University of Edinburgh and ROBERT



Julia Davidson
Kingston University

Antonia Bifulco
Kingston University
Young people’s response to online sexual solicitation: Findings from the European Online Grooming project [PDF]

The presentation draws upon  findings from a European Commission study (funded under the Safer Internet Programme) that concludes in 2012, the findings will be considered in the context of a wider body of  research.   The presentation will focus on the behaviour of offenders online and the nature of their online interaction wtih children.

The research aims were to:
•    describe the behaviour of both offenders who groom and young people who are ‘groomed’ and explore differences (e.g. in demographics, behaviour or profiles) within each group and how these differences may have a bearing on offence outcome.
•    describe how information, communication technology (ICT) is used to facilitate the process of online grooming.
•    further the current low knowledge base about the way in which young people are selected and prepared for abuse online
•    make a significant contribution to the development of educational awareness and preventative initiatives aimed at parents and young people

To meet this set of objectives, the project involved three separate but inter-linked phases.  First, a scoping phase that encompasses; a review of recent police case files, interviews with key stakeholders working to prevent online grooming and a literature review. The fieldwork and analysis of Phase two of the research, in-depth interviews with men who have been convicted of online grooming in each consortium country is also complete.  Phase three of the research has commenced and involves disseminating findings via a series of workshops across Europe to policy makers, practitioners, teachers, parents and young people, to make a significant contribution to the development of educational awareness and prevention initiatives.  It was clear from offender accounts and from direct research with young people (Davidson, 2009, 2010) that the majority are resilient to offender approach.  However, those young people who seemed to be susceptible to the approaches of online groomers displayed a range of vulnerability features that include: loneliness, low self-esteem, self-harming behaviour, family break-up, and incidence of ongoing sexual abuse by other offenders. Analysis of the offender accounts of their contact with young people made it clear that that online grooming cannot be comprehensively understood and managed without understanding the interaction between the offender, online environment and the young person.


Gisela Priebe

Psychologist, Ph D
Dept. of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, IKVL
Lund University

To tell or not to tell? Youth’s responses to unwanted Internet experiences


Background: Internet safety programs often advise parents and practitioners to encourage youth to tell an adult about unwanted online experiences. Internet safety rules for children at different ages also usually ask the youth to tell an adult about such experiences.


Objectives: We investigated whether youth with different types of unwanted online experiences were likely to tell anybody about these experiences and whom they told, their reasons for not telling, whether the event was reported to any authority and how telling or not telling is related to characteristics of the youth and the incident. We also investigated how they tried to resolve the situation. The relationship between risk and harm was investigated with regard to whether youth who were upset, embarrassed or afraid because of the incident or who reported other negative reactions after the incident were more likely to tell someone.


Method: A national U.S. sample of 1,560 youth Internet users, ages 10 to 17, participated in a telephone survey, the 3rd Youth Internet Safety Survey. Sexual solicitations were defined as requests to engage in sexual activities or sexual talk or to give personal sexual information that were unwanted or made by a person five or more years older, whether wanted or not. Harassment was defined as threats or other offensive behavior, sent online to youth or posted online about youth for others to see. Unwanted exposure to pornography was defined as being exposed to pictures of naked people or people having sex without seeking or expecting such pictures on the Internet.


Results: Online harassment was the type of unwanted experience youth most often told someone about. This finding is in line with results from the EU Kids online survey (Hasebrink et al., 2011; Livingstone et al., 2011). Youth who had experienced online harassment and were upset had told someone more often. Youth told most often a friend or a parent about the unwanted experience. Youth who did not tell anyone often thought the experience was not sufficiently serious while few did not tell anyone because they thought they might get into trouble or lose Internet access.


Conclusion: Internet safety programmes need to take into account that youth’s decisions to tell or not to tell someone about unwanted Internet experiences vary depending on factors such as type of experience, perception of harm and characteristics of the incident or the youth.


Vernon Jones


Children and young people exibiting sexually harmful behaviour online and offline – what have we learned and wht do we need to know to propose effective intervention? [PDF]

The fact that some children and adolescents sexually harm other children can be extremely diffic ult for many child care professionals and members of the public to comprehend. The emergence of what has been perceived of as a “new social problem” has been met with denial, confusion and a lack of appropriate intervention in most European countries. Although assessment and treatment facilities for these children now exist in some countries, service provision based upon a coordinated national strategy and a cohesive governmental response has been extremely slow to develop. This is even more apparent in terms of the lack of effective assessment services for preventing sexually harmful behaviour by children and adolescents in relation to the online technologies.


Proposing effective assessment and therapeutic services to these children and adolescents, entails defining the multifaceted and complex nature of this issue, taking into account the different cultural and sociopolitical contexts that exist within Europe. First and foremost, a distinction needs to be made between adolescents and younger children, in terms of their emotional, cognitive and social development, making it imperative that assessment and therapy take into account the needs of each individual child and are not based on a “one fits all philosophy”. This does not appear to be happening at the present time.


The proliferation of the online technologies has added to the pathways and contexts where sexually harmful behaviour can take place. Children and adolcescents have almost unlimited access to the Internet via personal computers and mobile phones. It is important we further explore the possible causal links between deviant use of the interactive technologies and sexually harmful behaviour commited by children and adolcescents. This presentation will give an overview of how the international community has responded to this chllenge and the problems of working effectively with children and adolescents who have exhibited sexually harmful behaviour, both within and outside the online context.

Kadri Soo 

Judit Strömpl

Mare Ainsaar
Institute of Sociology and Social Policy
Tartu University

Identification of online sexual dangers and coping strategies: The case of Estonian teenagers. [PDF]


The EU Kids online study with quantitative survey design indicated that the proportion of Internet use and exposure to online dangers of Estonian children is one of the highest among European countries (Livingstone et al., 2011). This paper analyses the identification of dangers related to sexual harassment on the Internet for Estonian teenagers and their coping strategies with Internet risks. In addition, the paper sheds light the differences in perception of dangers for boys and girls.


At part of ROBERT project four focus group interviews were carried out with 14-17-years-old Estonian teenagers. The interviews were done separately for institutional (substitute home) and non-institutional boys and girls.


The presentation gives an overview about sexual online dangers perceived by teenagers. The interviewees talked about various signs of danger situations on the Internet and their reaction to such signs. The major indicator was a message in foreign language from an unknown person from abroad. Mostly these messages included enticing and sexual compliments and initiation of conversation causing repulsion for recipients. Unpleasant messages could be sent also in Estonian or in Estonian with clear signs of ‘google translate’ help. Generally the interviewees reacted the undesirable message by deletion it and blocking the sender. Interestingly, the participants did not use terms like ‘sexual message’ or sexual harassment’ while talking about receiving invitation and remarks with sexual content. They called the perpetrators as ‘perverts’ or ‘Turks’. Last one refers to harassers from other countries.


During the interview some participants disclosed that they had responded to stranger persons just for fun. When the teenagers started the conversation with a stranger then they perceived the proposal of use webcam and meet face-to-face as a signs of a danger situation. The teenagers considered online relationships with peers never met in person as normal and not dangerous behaviour. Before meeting online friend offline, young people preferred to see him/her on the webcam to be sure that the new friend did not lie about his/her age.


The interviewees presented themselves as informed on online dangers and had avoidance strategies. Boys stated that girls are more likely the targets of stranger’s unwanted messages. But girls guessed that younger and more naïve girls will be rather more at risk because of their risky online behaviour (e.g., posting of revealing photos). Boys presented themselves as active initiators of becoming acquainted with stranger peer girls, while girls were less oriented to boys in their talks. Both, boys and girls replayed to strangers’ online invitations sometimes. Different motivations and risk avoidance strategies were mentioned.


F: Ethical and legal challenges

Thursday 24 May 11.00 – 13.00

Moderator: Lars Lööf, Council of the Baltic Sea States and ROBERT


Sharon W. Cooper
Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
School of Medicine


Ethical dilemmas associated with violence in cyberspace [PDF]

As child abuse image victimization becomes more prevalent, ethical challenges are becoming apparent with no easy answers. This presentation will provide case studies that illustrate the diverse nature of these problems as well as an in-depth discussion regarding options and strategies for the investigative, prosecution and therapeutic phases of a case. Included for review will be the care and disposition of the victim who is a foreign national adoptee, obtained to facilitate online victimization; the difficulty and or relevance of conducting a forensic interview of a child who appears to have been drugged for sexual abuse images; the question of whether children should ever be shown their own images in the investigative phase of a case; the role of ethical community response and support when a multivictim offender is found to be in possession of images of hundreds of preverbal children and the conundrum when a close family member is convicted of producing and dist ributing sexual abuse images of sleeping young child relatives and family members seek therapeutic advice regarding maintaining secrecy to protect the children from any or all elements of the truth. Cases illustrating each of these circumstances will be presented. Recognition of the rights of the child victim begs for careful consideration and establishment of practice guidelines for investigators, prosecutors, and therapists before such challenging situations occur. In some circumstances, consultation with an ethics committee might provide the best recommendations for procedural solutions.


Alisdair A. Gillespie
Professor of Criminal Law and Justice
De Montfort University
Legal responses to adolescent production of child abuse material [PDF]

International responses to child abuse images have increasingly led to the criminalisation of a wide variety of material, including material that has ostensibly been produced consensually and by adolescents. At the same time few instruments have specifically addressed the issue of adolescents who produce material that could constitute child abuse image material. This paper will consider what some of the legal implications of adolescent production are, including the paradox contained in some national instruments whereby an adolescent of a certain age can legally have sexual intercourse but may not be photographed. The paper will discuss alternative strategies and suggest that this is an issue that needs to be addressed by national and international policy makers.


Ms Linda van Krimpen LL.M
Mr Steven Tjelsma (Presenter)
Bureau of the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings
and sexual violence against children

The Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children, and her report on child abuse images [PRZ]

The report on child pornography from the Dutch Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings is available in the resource section.

On October 12 2011, the Dutch National Rapporteur – mrs. Corinne Dettmeijer-Vermeulen – presented her First Report on Child Pornography to the Minister of Security and Justice and the State Secretary of Public Health, Welfare and Sport. Afterwards, the Minister stated he would adopt the main recommendation of the Rapporteur: to form an integrated approach to protect children against sexual violence.


The proposed session will highlight:

–       the importance of independent monitoring mechanisms, and

–       the Rapporteur’s blue print for an integrated approach against child sexual abuse.


Independent monitoring mechanisms are vital for democratic societies as they critically review all governmental responses to human trafficking and sexual violence against children. The fact that the Rapporteur has an independent position is crucial in this respect. It forms the basis for an objective and non biased view on the developments and the pro’s and the con’s of the Dutch counter-trafficking and sexual abuse policies and practices. Her reports (and the fact that they are issued regularly), therefore function as an impetus both to the government and to Parliament to perform their respective tasks of fighting sexual abuse of children and monitoring the effectiveness of that fight.


The Rapporteur conducted research on the phenomenon of child abuse images, and both current and possible responses by the government. She concluded that common denominator of child abuse images, grooming, sexual exploitation, and sexual abuse is sexual violence against children. If current and future policy and interventions are to be effective, the Rapporteur urges the government to develop an integrated approach to protect children against sexual violence.

Of course, ICT is inextricably bound up with sexual violence. Therefore, an integrated approach has to embed and embrace the online world in order to protect the children of today. For example, police should not only seize data carriers in CP cases, but in every situation where there are indications of sexual violence. And, although this year alone hundreds of children were victims of online sexual violence in the Netherlands, no treatments are available for these children which address their specific problems. Furthermore, the Dutch Advice and Notification Centers for Child Abuse do not have a digital framework yet which consequently could result in overlooking online (clues of) sexual violence.

Most importantly, ‘integrated’ also means preventing sexual violence from happening in the first place and preventing re-offending and re-victimization. Responses targeting different potential offenders, victims and situations should be installed.

Victoria Baines

Online child sexual exploitation – A new era for EU law enforcement [PDF]

The establishment of the European Cybercrime Centre in 2013 will be a landmark in the European Union’s fight against crime online, including child sexual exploitation. For the first time, data on online child sexual exploitation from 27 Member States will be routinely collated and analysed to identify trends in offending and victimisation and – crucially – emerging vulnerabilities.


Building on Europol’s existing capability, the European Cybercrime Centre will provide a collaborative response to online child sexual exploitation, harnessing the intelligence of a range of stakeholders, including law enforcement and the judiciary, industry and non-governmental organisations. It will also serve as the EU’s hub for online law enforcement operations, the development of investigative tools, techniques and good practice, and for strategic insight into online child sexual exploitation.


This presentation will briefly describe the plans for the centre’s research capability, starting with Europol’s production of an environmental scan for the Virtual Global Taskforce, which will provide law enforcement specialists around the world with a review of recent academic research, and identify current and potential future trends based on expert consensus.

Partner logos

03.10.2011 / Lars Lööf / Upload new document / new comment
linkuniv_en_hori_col copy.eps / Lars Lööf / 04.10.2011
stellit logo eps / Lars Lööf / 03.10.2011
edinburgh logo eps / Lars Lööf / 03.10.2011
IID_logo.eps / Lars Lööf / 03.10.2011
Save the Children DK logo eps / Lars Lööf / 03.10.2011
Save the Children Italy logo eps / Lars Lööf / 03.10.2011
Kingston University logo eps / Lars Lööf / 03.10.2011
Tartu University logo eps / Lars Lööf / 03.10.2011

ROBERT was financed by the European Commission under the Safer Internet Plus Programme