93% of Kids Age 10-17 Use the Internet (A Nation Online Study – 2002)
82% use the internet for email, chat rooms, and/or visiting websites
44% have visited websites with x-rated content (Time-CNN Poll)
Characteristics of Predators
- Most offenders are male.
- They often hold respectable jobs.
- Offenders tend to relate more easily to children than adults.
- They may seek employment or volunteer opportunities at a child’s organization.
- They can be extremely convincing.
- They rely on the inexperience of their potential victims, and they know what to say and do to gain their trust.
1 in 7 youths between the ages of 10 and 17 has received unwanted sexual solicitations on line.
1 in 25 youths has received an aggressive solicitation to meet somewhere.
14% of solicitations were from offline friends and acquaintances.
Most North Carolina parents (60%) felt their children are at some risk of being contacted or preyed upon by someone they do not know while on the Internet.
Characteristics of a Child Victim
- ANY child, including those who may be performing well in school and socializing
with a “good” crowd of friends
- Naturally curious
- Too trusting
- Easily led by adults
- Desire attention and affection
- Curious about sex
- Need to defy parents
1 in 3 youths (34%) has been exposed to
sexually explicit pictures online without seeking or expecting them.
Most North Carolina parents (80%) expressed concern
Consult these helpful articles to stay abreast of Internet Safety for yourself and your family:
Internet Safety Tips-English
Internet Safety Tips-Spanish
This material courtesy of http://www.d2l.org.
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse is an Adult Responsibility
Darkness to Light believes that adults should be taking proactive steps to protect children from this significant risk. It is unrealistic to think that a young child can take responsibility for fending off sexual advances by an adult. Adults are responsible for the safety of children. Adults are the ones who need to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Yet, the statistics clearly show that adults aren’t shouldering this responsibility. Darkness to Light believes that adults just don’t know how.
Think About It
It’s unrealistic to expect a six-year-old to fend off sexual advances from an adult relative. Children often cannot recognize sexual advances for what they are, and have been taught to “mind” adults who are authority figures.
Adults are Responsible for the Safety of Children
- As adults, we strap babies into car seats, we walk children across busy streets, and we ask teenagers questions about where they are going and who they will be with, all to keep them safe. As adults, we should also be responsible for protecting children from sexual abuse.
- Why, then, are we at such a loss when it comes to protecting children from sexual abuse? Child abuse statistics show that adults do not adequately protect children from child sexual abuse, and the main reason is that they don’t know how.
- Research suggests that adults are unaware of effective steps they can take to protect their children from sexual abuse. Most do not know how to recognize signs of sexual abuse and many do not know what to do when sexual abuse is discovered.
- There are several well-known and successful programs that teach children age-appropriate self-protection skills and techniques. These programs also teach children about physical boundaries, and about discerning types of touch. These programs are valuable to children, and the skills they teach have thwarted abductions and sexual assaults. However, this is simply one part of a larger prevention and protection plan. We must not fall into the trap of thinking that these skills alone are “good enough.”
Sexting is the taking and sharing of nude or sexually explicit photos by computer or cell phone. While some states have enacted laws to deal specifically with teen sexting, North Carolina has not. In many states, including North Carolina, when sexting involves images of children under the age of 18, it violates state laws against child pornography, and teens can be prosecuted under laws intended to punish adult sex offenders.
Sexting has many other consequences aside from illegality. First, images can easily be forwarded, shared, or posted on line. Once photos are on the Internet, they can be difficult to remove and this can cause lasting damage to a teen’s reputation. Second, teens whose private images are shared can be humiliated or bullied, or become depressed. In some cases, teenagers have hurt themselves. Third, students involved in sexting can get in trouble at school and children as young as eight graders have been suspended.