Sex traffickers will identify a victim’s emotional/material and economic needs and fulfill them. This may include gifts, attention, affection, drugs, alcohol or whatever they need to fill their target’s needs. At this time, the trafficker will begin pushing boundaries and encouraging ‘risky’ sexual behaviours (e.g. explicit photos) of their victims. Victims will be introduced to new social venues and people associated with the trafficker.
- More than 500,000 predators are online everyday
- Kids 12-15 are susceptible to being groomed and manipulated by offenders online
- FBI stats show that more that 50 percent of victims of online sexual exploitation are 12-15 years old
- 89 percent of all sexual advances towards our children take place in internet chat rooms and through instant messaging
- In (27 percent) of exploitation incidents, predators asked kids for sexual photographs of themselves
- 4 percent of kids get “aggressive” sexual solicitations that included attempts to contact the kids offline
Know who your children are interacting with at school, events, online and offline. It’s imperative you build a strong and open line of communication with your child to allow for a space of trust. Remember, predators will study children to understand them, build a relationship of trust, and even manipulate children not to trust their parents, to lie and become distant.
KEY SIGNS TO WATCH FOR
• A predator might pay special attention to a child and make him or her feel special.
• A predator might isolate your child by involving him or her in fun activities that require them to be alone together
• A predator might touch your child in your presence so that he or she thinks that you are comfortable with the touching
• Keep in mind that the first physical contact between a predator and his or her victim is often nonsexual and designed to desensitize the child
• A predator might take advantage of a child’s natural curiosity about sex by telling “dirty” jokes, showing him or her pornography or by playing sexual games.
• A predator may offer to play games or buy treats for young children
• A predator might present him or herself as a sympathetic listener when parents, friends and others disappoint a child.
• A predator might eventually treat the child victim as a co-conspirator in their “relationship”
WHAT YOU CAN DO
* Encouraging your child to be “share aware” by talking openly and often about what sites they’re visiting, games they’re playing, and people they’re chatting with.
* Creating a family environment where your child feels safe talking about difficult topics. The safer a child feels, the more likely they are to open up when something bad happens.
* Monitoring their devices for potentially harmful communications.
If you suspect anything, call the authorities and report it ASAP. Not only are you protecting your child, you are protecting others as well.