Internet Predators

  • Sexual Predators are trolling for our children on the Internet, often willing to travel great distances to meet young children for sex.  In addition, sexual predators will also target single women with children, in an effort to prey on their children.  
  • Most children do not report offensive internet messages to their parents for fear of getting into trouble.  They do not understand that they are victims of a crime, and that these crimes need to be reported to the police.
Statistics
  • Computer predators approach 1 in 5 children as young as 12 on the Internet.  A computer predator is a person who asks them something inappropriate, or goes so far as to try and set up a meeting.
  • 84% of parents in the U.S. believe their teens are not involved in any sexual activity.  But the reality is that by the time they have graduated from high school. 2 out of 3 boys and girls have had sexual intercourse.  
  • MySpace.com found and removed more than 29,000 registered sex offenders with profiles in July 2007, preying or attempting to prey on children on their popular social networking Web site.

What You Can Do
  • Both parents need to keep an eye on this.  There is software to help parents track their children’s activity on the internet.
  • Parents - Keep all computers in an open area in the house, and be aware of your children’s Internet activities, including what sites they visit and what names they use.  Children should not be left alone to use the Internet in their rooms.  Computers should be out where others can walk by and keep an eye on the screen.  
  • Parents – Tell your children to tell you about inappropriate conversations they receive over the internet, or from anywhere else—and, that they will not get into trouble for telling you.  Then, report the situation to both your service provider and the police.
  • Parents - There is a huge gap between what parents know, and what is actually going on.  If parents will talk and listen to their kids about internet predators, drugs, alcohol, and sex—their kids will be the least likely to be involved in those things.
  • Teach children and students to tell a trusted adult.   Teach children and youth to be “watch dogs” for the police.  They can protect other youth by telling a trusted adult.    
  • Increase law enforcement cooperation to find and prosecute these Internet predators.
  • Help establish and enforce a “Community Standard of Decency.”  Pornography drives sexual deviancy, violence against women, and child sexual abuse.  
  • Learn what other States are doing.   
    • Texas recently proposed that sex offenders who are twice convicted of raping children under 14 get the death penalty.
    • Connecticut recently proposed that sex offenders be required to register any e-mail addresses, instant message addresses, or other Internet identifiers with the state police; and those who do not report the information would face up to 5 years in prison.  They also wanted to make it a felony for any person to misrepresent his or her age on the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.
    • In some states, showing up to have sex with a minor after soliciting them online is a felony.  The group at http://PervertedJustice.com will set up decoys and do sting operations.  They are an online watchdog group which catches internet sex predators and exposes them.  They go into chat rooms and pose as 12-15 year old children home alone and interested in having sex. 
         
  • President Barack H. Obama, January 16, 2013

    "And so what we should be thinking about, is our responsibility to care for (children), and shield them from harm, and give them the tools they need to grow up, and do everything that they're capable of doing.  This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged.  And their voices should compel us to change.

    "…we must do something to protect our communities and our kids
    …We have to examine ourselves in our hearts, and ask yourselves what is important?  This will not happen, unless the American people demand it.  If parents and teachers, police officers, and pastors, if hunters and sportsman, if responsible gun owners, if Americans of every background stand up and say, enough.  We've suffered too much pain, and care too much about our children to allow this to continue, then change will -- change will come.

    "Along with our freedom to live our lives as we will, comes an obligation to allow others to do the same.   We don't live in isolation.  We live in a society, a government for and by the people. We are responsible for each other.

    " …when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now,
    for Grace, for the 25 other innocent children and devoted educators who had so much left to give; for the men and women in big cities and small towns who fall victims to senseless violence each and every day; for all the Americans who are counting on us to keep them safe from harm.

    "Let's do the right thing.  Let's do the right thing for (our children) and for this country that we love so much." 
    (Speaking of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre which took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults, President Obama announced his anti-gun violence plan to curb such violence, and to protect our children.)  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/16/transcript-obama-remarks-on-gun-violence/#ixzz2IAHlzy00
Local Organizations
Additional Resources
Internet Safety 101
Making the Internet Safer for Children and Families
Learn about pornography, Sexting, Predators, Social media dangers, Online gaming, Cyberbullying, and more.
http://www.internetsafety101.org/grooming.htm