ANOVA – Prevent_IT

According to police estimates, 15,000 people in Sweden alone downloaded images of child abuse from the Internet in 2016. There is also a large unrecorded figure, since many users of abuse material hide their IP addresses or use the dark net. The Swedish-based operator Tele2 reports that it blocks 500,000 searches for child sexual abuse images every month in the nine countries where it operates. Various studies show that between 60 and 86 percent of the people who view child sex abuse images also commit other forms of sexual abuse against children. A Swedish report shows that in 48 percent of the cases in which a person is found guilty of the possession of child pornography, the person is also found guilty of other types of child sexual abuse. Becoming part of a network and gaining access to abuse images often requires the contribution of new material. This increases the risk significantly that a person will go from consuming child sexual abuse material online to also committing child sexual abuse offline and creating their own material for distribution.

ANOVA, Karolinska University Hospital (KS), is an assessment and treatment clinic for andrology, sexual medicine and trans medicine/gender dysphoria that conducts research in the same areas. The overall aim of ANOVA’s work is to contribute to better health among patients with medical problems relating to sexual and reproductive health and to prevent sexual abuse and violence. ANOVA is also responsible for Preventell, a helpline for unwanted sexuality – read more at preventell.se. ANOVA has several research projects that are aimed in various ways at preventing sexual abuse of children.

The objective of the Prevent_IT research project is to test whether CBT treatment with the support of a psychotherapist over the Internet is an effective treatment model for people who view documented child sexual abuse.  The method is based on experience from earlier research results in projects associated with ANOVA (Kafka_IT and Priotab) and from clinical experiences from Preventell. The project also gathers experience and knowledge of the target groups that may be of help in the continuing effort to find effective ways of preventing child sexual abuse.