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Online Child Sexual Exploitation is on the rise

New data released by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Keep your kids safe from online predators

New data released by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shows a 35% increase in reports of suspected child sexual abuse online in 2021; a total of 29.3 million reports - the most ever in one year. 

"These reports concern the sexual exploitation of children around the globe. We share this data to continue building awareness of the insidious nature of child sexual exploitation occurring online,"  said Michelle DeLaune, NCMEC Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

When NCMEC receives reports, our staff closely analyzes them to help determine where potential child victims and offenders might be located so the information can be made available to the appropriate law enforcement agency. NCMEC's critical analysis of these reports has resulted in alerts to law enforcement regarding 4,260 new child victims depicted in child sexual abuse imagery.

Another disturbing trend: NCMEC saw an increase in nearly all types of exploitation reports in 2021, including a 16.5% increase in online enticement. This type of exploitation occurs when a child is groomed to take sexually explicit images, meet face-to-face with someone for sexual purposes or engage in a sexual conversation online.

Also in 2021, NCMEC data reveals that the number of videos of child sexual abuse surpassed still images. With advances in technology that allow anyone to record on their own devices, NCMEC expects that reports of videos will continue to rise. 

About NCMEC's CyberTipline: NCMEC receives reports related to suspected child sexual exploitation from the public and electronic service providers. The 29.3 million reports we received in 2021 mark a dramatic increase from the 21.7 million reports we received in 2020 and the 16.9 million reports submitted to us in 2019.

More information about 2021 trends in the online exploitation of children and what NCMEC is doing about it can be found in our 2021 CyberTipline Report, available here:

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