Is It Common For Kids To Be Solicited For Sex Online?
The scary answer is yes it happens much more then you would imagine.
A national study was conduct by the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center on behalf of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, compared the online experiences of teens and preteens who use the Internet on a regular basis found that:
Approximately one in five children aged 10 to 17 received a sexual solicitation online.
1 in 33 youth received an aggressive sexual solicitation - a solicitor who asked to meet them somewhere; called them on the telephone; sent them regular mail, money, or gifts.
1 in 4 had unwanted exposure to sexual images. And 1 in 17 was threatened or harassed.
Over 20% of online predators' targets are 13 or younger.
One of the most distressing things found in this study was that LESS than 10 percent of the sexual solicitations were reported to authorities.
In fact, studies show that on average it only takes about 15 minutes or less for a teen to be occosted in a chat room, and solicied for online sex or other wanted attention.
the bottom line is that if you have children or teenagers who go online, the reality is that they will be solicited at some point. Knowing that it's important to prepare your children ahead of time for this unfortunate eventuality.
Take some time and sit down with your child and explain to them how they should handle these sorts of online come ons.
Let your children know that they should:
Let you know right away if they find something scary, threatening or confusing on the Internet.
Never to give out their name, your family name, address, telephone number, password, school name, or any other private information.
Never to agree to meet face-to-face with someone they've met online. (Even at the mall)
Never to respond to abusive messages or that have bad words or insults.
Never to login to a web site that charges for services without asking your permission first.
Never send a picture of himself or herself to anyone without your explicit permission.
By giving your child a method of behavior and a way to respond to these sorts of unsavory solicitations, children will feel much more empowered and less likely to play the role of victim.
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