16 Apr 2012

Child abuse investigators rely on counselling

8:31 am on 16 April 2012

Customs officers whose investigations involve viewing thousands of harrowing images of online child abuse say they rely on counselling to keep doing their jobs.

Thirty-three victims of online child exploitation have been rescued from sexual abuse situations by Government agencies working on the problem.

Customs investigator Dave Southwell says staff have to undergo counselling every three months and complete a psychological assessment.

Mr Southwell says some of the victims are only babies.

He says some of the children are forced into the abuse by the threat of violence.