January National Stalking Awareness Month | Community Spirit

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January National Stalking Awareness Month
January National Stalking Awareness Month

Who Is Stalking Your Child Online? The Internet is a reflection of our society, a representation of the world we explore, communicate interact and search. The good, the bad and the dangerous, the Internet has shown a reflection that exposes the dangerous and dirty side of online interaction.

Bringing sex, prostitution, sex trafficking and
pedophiles to the digital world of the Internet.
The advances of technology have a dangerous
side to the ease of accessing content by youth,
teens and young adults. Too many parents still
do not understand the dangers from their
children’s unmonitored Internet access. Using
Google maps and search engine technologies
as an example can literally bring danger to the
door steps of families. The range of Social
Media tools: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook,
YouTube, Vimeo and other networks opens a
new door to “Contact,” “Friending” and
“Following” people in a digital world where
no one can hide.

The disturbing statistical data from federal
authorities shows that at least 500,000 to 750,000
predators are “On-line” on a daily basis.
Parents need to “Beware of Cyber Stalkers”
and educate their children by talking about
the dangers of digital communication.
There is little help for parents to understand the
importance of monitoring their children,
information from ProtectKids.com helps, but
parents need to be involved.
“most common means by which sexual predators
contact children over the Internet is through chat
rooms, instant messages and email. In fact, 89% of
sexual solicitations were made in either chat rooms or
instant messages and 1 in 5 youth (ages 10-17 years)
has been sexually solicited online (JAMA, 2001).
Parents should learn the slang and “code” their children
use, they have either learned from other children, or
what has been taught to them by stalkers or pedophiles
to hide their activities from adults and law enforcement.

To understand the seriousness of sexual solicitation
main stream media has run movies and documentaries
talking about issues related to Social Media, Bullying,
Child Pornography and other dangers children face online.
Parents are encouraged to tune in and learn about these
online activities that can be performed from cell phones,
tablets, and any device that can take and transmit video
and pictures online.

Sexting is a federal offense and those that are
convicted must register as a Sexual Predator, but this
does not stop sexual predators from seeking out victims.
Youth will post their address, cell phone number and other
information online thinking they are save “cause no one will
find them.”
National statistics show that:
Currently, there are over 644,865 Registered Sex Offenders
in the United States;
(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 2008).

Almost 80 percent of offenders were explicit about their
intentions with youth. In 73 percent of crimes, youth go to
meet the offender on multiple occasions for multiple sexual
encounters (NJOV Study, 2007).

Teens are willing to meet with strangers:
16 percent of teens considered meeting someone they’ve only
talked to online and 8 percent have actually met someone
they only knew online
(Online Victimization of Youth: Five Years Later. 2006).

Four percent of all youth Internet users received aggressive
sexual solicitations, which threatened to spill over into
“real life”. These solicitors asked to meet the youth in
person, called them on the telephone, or sent offline mail,
money, or gifts. Also 4 percent of youth Internet users had
distressing sexual solicitations that left them feeling upset
or extremely afraid
(Online Victimization of Youth: Five Years Later, 2006).

The Internet has opened doors from the deep dark shadows,
the Internet has allowed stalkers to select their prey in online
secrecy and travel to commit their crimes if not in the same
state then traveling state to state.
Google Earth is being used by adults seeking sex with
minors. Finding youth by their addresses, zip codes and
other small pieces of information. Parents need to check
their children’s online activity, through phones, tablets,
computers laptops and other devices. Children are engaging
in dangerous activities on a network that is open and in
most cases unmonitored.

Vint Cerf, considered one of the “Fathers of the Internet”
stated, “The internet is a reflection of our society
and that mirror is going to be reflecting what we see.
If we do not like what we see in that mirror the problem
is not to fix the mirror, we have to fix society.”
Parents be more engaged in what your children are doing
online. Even gaming systems can get online so the
Nintendo Wii, Microsoft’s Xbox, Nintendo DS’s and other
gaming systems will give unprecedented connectivity to
youth that are not mature enough to handle the responsibility
to manage their online content. Communication is very
important. Talk to your kids now before a stranger gains their
trust and confidence.
The results could be tragic.

William Jackson, M.Ed.
STEM Teacher
Presenter, Speaker, Trainer

Support This Community Event:
Real Talk Real Change IV
“Its All In The Family”
Jacksonville Main Public Library
Jacksonville, Florida
Thursday, January 24th 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Real Talk Real Change IV

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