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Commissioner backs Childline campaign

31st March 2015

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has given her backing to a national campaign aimed at helping young people concerned with the negative effects of viewing pornography.

NSPCC’s Childline service say contact to them from young people about pornography has doubled over the past year. Discussion threads on the Childline website message boards with porn in the title are also viewed over 18,000 times a month say the private and confidential service for young people.

A survey of 700 12 to 13-year-olds in the UK carried out by the charity also revealed that one in five had seen pornographic images which they say shocked or upset them.

Launched by Childline today, Fight Against Porn Zombies aims to tackle the issue of pornography becoming normalised among young people and the negative impact it can have such as porn addiction; eating disorders; body image issues; social isolation and even harmful sexual behaviours.

The campaign has been developed in consultation with young people and uses the ‘Porn Zombies’ as a metaphor for how excessive viewing of it can potentially affect them.

Rather than demonising young people for looking at porn, it uses a series of animations and educational information providing advice and support using language and terminology which they can relate to.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “The internet can be a wonderful and informative tool for people of all ages.

“But as more young people have increased access to it, their chances of stumbling on explicit and pornographic material also increases. This isn’t isolated to teenagers, children viewing porn are getting younger and younger.

“While the figures revealed in this survey are worrying, I’m also encouraged by the fact young people are contacting Childline with their concerns about viewing pornography or are taking advice and information from the charity’s website.

“I give my full support to this campaign. It’s incredibly important that young people realise viewing pornography isn’t the norm to stop it having a negative impact on their future behaviour or relationships.

“I would also urge parents to talk to their children about what they’re doing online, whether this be on a computer, tablet or their phones, to make sure they are staying safe and not visiting sites they shouldn’t be.”

For more advice about staying safe online visit the Northumbria Police website,


More information on the campaign can be found by visiting: