The ReDirection project aims to prevent sexual violence against children online

The aim of Protect Children’s ReDirection project is to produce new research and information on online crimes of sexual violence against children and to develop the ReDirection Self-Help Program for individuals who search for, view, and distribute images and footage that depict sexual violence against children (child sexual abuse material: CSAM).

The ReDirection project is funded by End Violence Against Children.

Learn more about the ReDirection project

ReDirection Dark Web Research

Protect Children launched two innovative surveys in the dark web to gather unprecedented data about the habits, thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of individuals who use CSAM. When individuals search for CSAM on the dark web by using certain key words, they are presented with the possibility to answer the surveys: Help us to help you and No need for help.

New Publication: Article in Stanford Journal

In February 2022, Protect Children’s first peer-reviewed article on the ReDirection research was published in Stanford Internet Observatory’s Journal of Online Trust and Safety. The article found that many of those who view child sexual abuse materials are also at risk of directly contacting children online.

What is Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)?

Child Sexual Abuse Material, or CSAM, (often misleadingly referred to as ‘child pornography’) includes images, videos, live-streaming, and any other material that depicts sexual violence against a child. CSAM can include material that shows a child in a sexually suggestive or explicit manner partially clothed, or nude, and can include material that does or does not illustrate sexual activity or violence at all.

ReDirection Survey Report: CSAM Users in the Dark Web

In September 2021, Protect Children published the preliminary results of the anonymous survey on CSAM users in the dark web in a comprehensive research report: ‘CSAM Users in the Dark Web: Protecting Children Through Prevention‘.

The ReDirection Survey Report reveals unprecedented findings from Protect Children’s surveys in the dark web on CSAM users. This new information is invaluable in enhancing global child protection efforts and strengthening the fight to protect children from sexual violence online.

ReDirection Self-Help Program

The anonymous, rehabilitative ReDirection Self-Help Program has been developed by Protect Children in collaboration with psychologists Nina Nurminen & Mikko Ylipekka, Criminal Sanctions Agency.

Basis of the ReDirection Self-Help Program

The ReDirection Self-Help Program is based on the manualised UUSI SUUNTA Individual Program for Sex Offenders, already in use in Finland and Estonia.

The program is based on cognitive behavioral therapy and guides users to change their behavior and stop using CSAM. While this can be difficult, 50% of respondents to the Help us to help you survey say that they would like to stop using CSAM and Protect Children believes that it is possible to help CSAM users to stop offending.

User feedback

Preliminary feedback from users of the ReDirection Self-Help Program suggests that the program successfully decreases CSAM use.

60% said that their use of CSAM has decreased, or they have completely stopped using CSAM after starting the ReDirection Self-Help Program. 

Languages

The Program has been translated into Spanish and culturally adapted by Red PaPaz and Milena Vásquez-Amézquita PhD. Associate Professor at Universidad El Bosque.

The ReDirection Self-Help Program is now available on the Helsinki University Hospital Mental Hub in English and Spanish.

Protect Children has received significant, international End Violence funding for the innovative ReDirection project

Online sexual crimes against children are international criminality. The ReDirection project has a significant societal impact in helping to solve the global social and public health problem and promote the rights of the child. 

‘The project primarily focuses on preventive measures and research where the problem is the worst – on the Tor network platforms. The ReDirection programme aims is to prevent the use of illegal child sexual abuse material and provides a new ways to reduce re-victimization.”

Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen
Executive Director, Senior Specialist at Protect Children


“We will combine new research in the Tor network with the latest international research results and effective treatment programmes. The project will outline a societal significant perspective and change towards stronger prevention of sexual crimes against children,”

Tero Toiviainen

Senior Specialist at the Police University College.

Further information:

Protect Children

Anna Ovaska
Legal Specialist

+358 40 081 0020
anna.ovaska@suojellaanlapsia.fi