‘Chat to a specialist’: Evaluation of an anonymous chat function of the ReDirection program

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In the ReDirection project, Protect Children developed a new, low threshold online help resource based on cognitive-behavioural theory, with the aim of helping CSAM users change their behaviour and stop offending. The ReDirection program was developed as an entirely self-help resource, with no interactive elements. Protect Children aimed to test whether adding an anonymous guided chat function with elements of Motivational Interviewing Technique to the ReDirection program could improve the effectiveness of the intervention.

The RDChat was added to the ReDirection program in November 2022 and has been running for 10 months.

The information we gained from piloting the RDChat is valuable and gives important insights relevant for the development of perpetration prevention resources. The pilot indicated that the RDChat had a positive effect on user motivation to continue working through the ReDirection Self-Help Program. However, due to low uptake, we did not gather enough data to thoroughly test the effectiveness of the chat service as an addition to the ReDirection Self-Help Program. Further research and efforts are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of different types of help resources for individuals to stop viewing child sexual abuse material.

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