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Case studies from different European countries

A father reports
Internet pornography / Austria

A father talks about finding out, nude pictures of his 6-year-old son were posted on the Internet.

“It is not easy for me to talk about it, but I am contacting you because I know that you provide awareness training concerning Internet pornography in daily family life and I also participated in the online survey. I want to warn parents!” With these words, a father of a 6-year-old son addressed us. He told how he and his wife were completely shocked and uninformed about the subject of “Internet pornography”.

One day, suddenly the police knocked on the door and wanted to talk to their 6-year-old son. The police explained that nude pictures of their son were on the Internet. These pictures were taken by 12-year-old children form their residential area because of fun and then they uploaded it on the Internet. “We couldn’t believe it!”, explained the completely perplexed father. “I kept on asking myself how I would have prevented that. I think we as parents have to be more careful and we have to talk to our children about the increasing dangers as soon as possible - dangers which we as parents hardly expect.”

Parents are often clueless and completely overextended because many are not aware of the fact that 12-year-old children could come up with such an idea. Incidents such as these are not a single case any longer. Preventive measures for awareness raising and discussions with the children are necessary to offer children the best protection. This requires a trustworthy atmosphere to offer children the chance to talk about their thoughts, experiences and problems. Reacting to those sensitive topics and not trivializing or even declaring them taboo is increasingly becoming a challenge for parents.

Parents should be able to create an environment in which children and adolescents can recognize the risks and learn to use the benefits of the internet, mobile phones and computer games in a responsible way.

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