Children have more access to adult content than ever before. Even with the strictest parental guidance settings and controls, children are still able to go online and view content they never should see at their age. But this also means that child predators have more access to the victims they love to torment. And they are becoming more effective at targeting susceptible children to exploit as their next victim.
Because this is the truth, Sgt. James Spurlock, a sheriff’s deputy in Loudoun County, Virginia, goes to the children themselves to learn about what’s happening. He takes time out of his busy mornings to go to middle schools and high schools to talk to young people about the risks of interacting with strangers online…
Because Spurlock knows criminals, he is terrified at how easy it is for a pedophile to get access to a child online.
“There’s more people on the Internet in the world than there’s ever been and as technology becomes easier and cheaper, it ends up in the hands of people that couldn’t have afforded it 10 or 15 years ago”
“It puts more young people into technology. It puts more access to predators who 20 years ago had no access to them and can now simply sit on their computer at home or in an Internet cafe or Starbucks and reach out and talk to hundreds of kids with no real effort.”
Child predators go to where kids spend their online time, in video games, on message boards, and most prominently on social media.
These adults message children they don’t know in order to sexually exploit them.
Pedophiles call this online technique “bunny hunting.”
Today’s generation of children face real-life challenges and consequences at much younger ages. Children who aren’t even in their teens yet frequently exchange naked selfies, engage in sexting, and cyber bullying with their peers. But if the person on the other end is a child predator, they could be at risk of a terrible fate…
Spurlock has 26-years’ experience in law enforcement. In one of his presentations, he asked the 11- and 12-year olds:
“If someone threatened you online or sent you something inappropriate, how many of you would immediately go tell your parents?”
Hardly any children raised their hands.
Children are afraid that their parents will take their mobile devices away. And would rather risk sexual exploitation, than losing their iPhone or Android device.
Amanda Ghessie, a reporter for Independent Journal Review, posed as a 16-year-old and showed how aggressive sexual predators are online. She writes:
“And the sad truth is that even after explicitly saying that I was sixteen years old, I was still propositioned by men sometimes twice my age.
“Long story short: Users can be whoever they want to be, however old they want to be, and can talk to whomever they want to talk to.”
Make sure your children know how vulnerable they are online. 20 percent of children become victims to these child predators.
Spurlock said: “One in 5 of you will be a victim before you turn 18. One in 5.”
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