Child sexual abuse and exploitation material has drawn concern and legislative attention since the turn of the century, and the work to identify children in the images has been a prioritised task through international cooperation. The International Child Sexual Exploitation Image Database (ICSE DB) includes more than 8000 identified victims from nearly 50 countries. The database contains considerable important information about child abuse image crimes. The general aim of this study was to quantify the characteristics of children in identified illegal images from the UK ICSE DB (n = 687) with the subsidiary aim to describe differences between cases of self‐taken images and those whose images had been taken by others. The analysis showed an increase in identified victims during the study years 2006–2015. Almost two‐thirds were female, the majority were white and 44.3 per cent of images were self‐taken (34.4% taken in a coercive and 9.9% in a non‐coercive relationship). Since 2010, the number of self‐taken images each year has exceeded more than 40 per cent of the total number of images in the database. Although self‐taken images may be perceived as less worrisome, two‐thirds were classified as coercive. This is an important argument in favour of continuing to investigate these cases under victim identification programmes.
- sexual images
- child sexual abuse and exploitation material