Webcam abuse case is ‘tip of the iceberg’, warns World Vision
Online abuse of vulnerable children overseas is on the rise because of the growing use of webcams, World Vision UK has warned following the sentencing of an offender at the Old Bailey today.
Trevor Monk, 47, of Erith was jailed for 19-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to 18 offences. The court heard he paid thousands of pounds for live internet images from the Philippines, then travelled to the country himself to commit abuse.
Erica Hall, Senior Child Rights Advisor at aid agency World Vision UK, said:
“The widespread use of webcams coupled with dire economic conditions in many parts of the world means we’re seeing many more cases of such vile abuse.
“This is partly a battle against the bizarre attitude of many offenders that it’s somehow OK to carry out abuse overseas which they wouldn’t commit in the UK – particularly if money is involved. Children are children and such abuse is utterly devastating, regardless of where they’re from.
“Perpetrators must be punished but, all too often, the victim is forgotten about. We need to make sure they have the support and strength they need to pick up the pieces and start rebuilding their lives.
“It’s encouraging that laws are keeping up with technology like webcam abuse but, while there are no reliable statistics, we suspect this is the tip of the iceberg with many cases still undetected.”
World Vision has been working in the Philippines for more than 50 years.