Belgian Twitter flooded with cat photos to raise awareness of child abuse
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Belgian Twitter flooded with cat photos to raise awareness of child abuse

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Belgian Twitter has been overtaken by pictures of cats as part of a new push from Child Focus to raise awareness of child abuse.

Using the hashtag #catsforkids, Child Focus hopes to raise awareness as part of the European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.

Translation: Every day, some 19 million images of child sexual abuse are spread online. That’s 78 times more than cute cats on Instagram. Post your cat too with this message and #catsforkids. Bring this injustice to the attention & make the internet a bit softer again.

“Interpol estimates that 19 million abusive images are shared every day on the internet or via social networks,” said the Foundation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children.

“This is 78 times more than the number of pictures of adorable cats shared every day on Instagram.”

In that spirit, the campaign calls on people to share a cat photo, with the message that “for each cat photo, 78 images of child sexual abuse are shared.”

“Your cat photo can help to highlight a major injustice,” Child Focus said, underlining that “this problem is often ignored. Images of child sexual abuse are of course not only published on Instagram. They circulate on the ‘dark web’, are exchanged via WhatsApp, on forums, etc.”

“The problem is therefore huge in terms of quantity, but remains invisible. By means of cat photos, Child Focus has found an accessible way to draw attention to this terrible injustice.”

Images of online child sexual abuse can be reported anonymously on this website, after which they are checked by a specialised team. If possible, they are then deleted in collaboration with the police.

Anyone who thinks they have witnessed child sexual abuse can contact this hotline.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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