The Youngest Children Often Suffer the Worst Sexual Abuse

A recent study by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) demonstrates a shocking and devastating correlation between age and severity of sexual abuse endured by children and minors.

In the images IWF analyzed between January 2014 and September 2017:

63 percent of child sexual abuse material showing children aged zero to two was category A (define), for three to six-year-olds, the figure was 57 percent and for seven to 10-year-olds 36 percent of images were category A. For the 11 to 13 age group the figure was 20 percent, for 14 to 16 they amounted to 16 percent and for 16 to 17-year-olds it was seven percent. The data shows a strong correlation between the age of the child and the form of abuse.

A category A images involves penetrative sexual activity, sexual activity with an animal or sadism.

All sexual exploitation is deplorable, but it is particularly disturbing that the youngest children – babies and toddlers – often suffer the worst sexual abuse. This abuse is followed all too often by their abusers sharing images of these innocent victims’ suffering online.

Child sexual exploitation images on the Internet indefinitely perpetuate the original harm done to the child.

At the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, we work to expose the connection between child sexual abuse, child sexual exploitation images (child pornography), and all forms of sexual exploitation.

For example, research also indicates that adult consumption of pornography for some leads to child sexual abuse.

IWF’s study is heartbreaking, and its harrowing nature only reinvigorates our purpose and mission to work to end all forms of sexual exploitation.

Child sexual abuse and child-on-child sexual abuse will be a major focus for us in 2018.

If you are also passionate about this issue, please consider contributing to our end of year matching grant and/or joining our movement of activists by subscribing for our newsletter.

By becoming actively involved with our organization, you too can help end child sexual abuse and alleviate the suffering experienced by so many innocent children. Throughout the year, we launch targeted advocacy campaigns to change policies that facilitate sexual exploitation.

Often, your involvement is as simple as sending out some Tweets and Facebook posts, or sending an email to a corporate executive or lawmaker.

If you don’t speak up for these little ones, who will?

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



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