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NSPCC ChildLine warns of porn addiction in new campaign

Charity highlights one tenth of 12-13-year-olds are addicted to pornography

Published on 1st April 2015

One tenth of 12 to 13-year-old young people fear they are "addicted" to pornography, the NSPCC ChildLine has found.

Pornographic images have shocked or upset one in five of almost 700 youngsters, the survey found, and the charity warned that 12% of those surveyed said they had taken part in, or had made, a sexually explicit video.

“It is impossible to ignore 18,000 visits every month about exposure to porn on our discussion forums from children and young people or that one in ten 12-13 year olds are worried they are addicted to porn,” said Sue Minto, Head of ChildLine Service.

“We have to remember that these aren't just shocking numbers – they are real children. These young people are confused, upset, feel like they have to behave or look like porn stars to have relationships and at the worst end are in danger of engaging with harmful sexual behaviour. We cannot ignore the fact there are lots of children who are feeling this way across the UK,” she added.

The charity has launched a campaign, the ChildLine FAPZ campaign (the Fight Against Porn Zombies) to help young people understand how to deal with the reality of our digital world we have to try and remove the embarrassment and shame that exists around talking about porn in their lives.

Young people have told the helpline that they are unsure of the line between fantasy and reality and have been integral to shaping the campaign which aims to educate young people to understand about the potentially harmful implications of excessive exposure to porn.

The FAPZ campaign website includes a series of videos that aim to bust the myths around porn and educate young people about the realities of sex and tips on how to prevent curiosity becoming a harmful addiction with implications on further relationships.

“Every young person deserves a happy and healthy childhood, and as a society we need to do everything we can to ensure they are equipped to make informed choices in a fast evolving world, which is why I am proud of our bold campaign,” concluded Ms Minto.

More about online porn here.

ChildLine’s FAPZ campaign here.

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