Figures obtained by the NSPCC have revealed that 366 young people in the North East have committed acts of child sex abuse.
The charity found that nationally there were more than 5,000 cases reported to the police in the last three years.
Nearly all (98%) of the 4,562 offenders were boys and at least three out of five of the victims knew their abuser.
– Claire Lilley, NSPCC
While more research needs to be done on this problem, we know that technology and easy access to sexual material is warping young people's views of what is 'normal' or acceptable behaviour.
We are treating an increasing number of children who have carried out online grooming, harassment in chatrooms and 'sexting'.
Children who are sexually abusive have often been victims of abuse, harm and trauma themselves. Exposure to this can make them think abusing someone or being sexually violent is ok.