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  • Writer's pictureRISE

Grooming Online

Revealing and accessible online profiles can make it easy for pedophiles and other unsafe individuals to find out information, which they can use to groom youth and even blackmail individuals.

Adults create false identities and pose as children to build a trustworthy reputation and relationship with the victim's family and community. Sexual predators of children and adolescents frequently exhibit the qualities we look for in friends and acquaintances: they are charming, helpful, and compassionate. However, creating connections with the victim and the victim's close friends can be the start of internet stalking, harassment, or sexual abuse.

Perpetrators often pressure victims into sexual acts like sending nudes or sending sexual videos. Once the assailant receives these, they can post them online and even blackmail the minor for more sexual favors.

However, children should not be banned from having an online presence. They should be taught proper precautions and know what information to withhold. For instance, full names and schools should not be advertised and easily findable. Parents should monitor young children's social media presence if they feel anything suspicious is going on and be wary of any online friends.

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