The online world presents huge opportunities for finding purpose, connection, and community. But it also presents significant risks; it is a fast-moving space and the risks of online grooming and exposure to violence and trauma are rapidly growing.
Before the start of the Covid-19 crisis, knife crime and serious violence was on the rise, and the risk of young people being exposed to harmful content shared online was growing. Now, Covid-19 has forced young people to rely on the internet for both their education and maintaining their friendships. Our frontline practitioners, working with children at risk of exploitation, teaching in schools, or offering support in the justice system, are acutely aware of the growing risks.
All our services must address the complex interactions of the online and offline world.
Catch22 is focussed on building a safer online world through prevention and intervention, and by creating safe ways for young people to communicate, express themselves, and positively connect with their communities, online and offline.
“In our schools and community services, across victim support and child exploitation work, we are seeing more and more young people relying on the internet and the platforms that go with it, and reporting disturbing behaviour online.
“There are is still a huge lack of knowledge in this space and at a time when we need the huge benefits of an online world – connectivity, a sense of community, and access to education – we must do what we can to stay one step ahead of the risks and keep young people safe.”
Catch22, Chief Executive, Chris Wright
Catch22’s work in this space