Continue monitoring children's internet activity
Children use technology to play video games, watch movies, listen to music and browse the Internet. Today’s technology allows immediate Internet access from just about anywhere. They can connect to the Internet with just about any hand held electronic device as long as there is a wireless service close by and children can be exposed to many things on the Internet, including pornography.
Internet pornography is estimated to be a$2.84 billion dollar industry in the United States alone and child pornography is quickly becoming the biggest money maker with an estimated $3 billion dollars being made annually worldwide. Children could accidentally be exposed to pornographic images while browsing the Internet but have a better chance of becoming a victim of child pornography.
The U. S. Customs Services estimated more than 100,000 Web sites offer child pornography in a study released in 2002 and, according to the Internet Watch Foundation, more than half of those sites are hosted in the United States.
Females between age 12 and 17 are most likely to become victims of child pornography. Girls at this age are experiencing biological and body image changes and are searching for a “new” identity. Teen girls sometimes feel awkward during this time and will seek attention from males.
The majority of child pornography offenders are male who lure young girls into believing they care for them. They will shower them with attention and gifts and may talk the victim into posing nude for photos or engaging in sex while being photographed or videotaped. The offender can then sell the photos and videos to a Web site offering child pornography.
We all know of the Internet predator and how they talk victims into meeting in person but, strangers made up only about 11 percent of child pornography offenders. Twenty-five percent of offenders were family members of the victim and 64 percent were acquaintances.
Parents should not limit their conversations with their children to the Internet predator stranger. Parents should tell their children anybody, including family and friends, can hurt them. Let them know that if anybody does try to hurt them, it is not their fault and they can talk to you. If they do disclose to you that someone has tried to hurt them, let them know they did nothing wrong and they will not face consequences. Continue monitoring your child’s Internet activity and who they are spending time with and help keep our kids safe.
Keeping Our Kids Safe is brought to you by the Delaware Police Department and School Resource Officer Rod Glazer.