How much time does it take for an 11 year old girl to be approached by online predators once that kid goes online? Any guesses?
An experiment that showed scary results
A 37-year old mom went undercover as an 11-year old girl to expose the dangers facing kids on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Kik. The team timed the responses and it was under a minute for the first like on the profile. And in less than two minutes, an older man started sexting-ing with her!
And, within a few days, when she posed as a 15 years old, she was asked to meet this older man who wanted to take her to a hotel room and wanted her because she was a virgin!
Online Predators Statistics
- More than 500,000 predators are online everyday
- Kids 12 to 15 are susceptible to being groomed and manipulated by offenders online
- One in five U.S. teenagers who regularly log on to the Internet says they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the Web. Solicitations were defined as requests to engage in sexual activities or sexual talk, or to give out personal sexual information. (only 25% of those told a parent)
- About 30% of the victims of Internet sexual exploitation are boys.
- Internet sexual predators tend to fall between the ages of 18 and 55, although some are older or younger. Their targets tend to be between the ages of 11 and 15
- There were 799,041 Registered Sex Offenders in the United States (2015)
- FBI stats show that more than 50 percent of victims of online sexual exploitation are 12-15 years old
- 89 percent of all sexual advances toward 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
Left unsupervised, young children can be exposed to online predators, grooming, and psychological abuse within minutes.
Prosecutors in New Jersey did a sting operation called ‘Operation Open Door’, where 19 online sexual predators were caught. They were trying to lure underage boys and girls into sexual activities. The predators were using several applications to do that. Some are listed above.
The most dangerous apps were the ones which used the phones location – the GPS settings – so they could be traced.
How online predators do their work?
Most, 98% actually, of the offenders do not know the victims in real life.
They use anonymity and social media’s reach to intrude into the kids’ lives. An in-depth report by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is given here, which gives a detailed view of this world.
So what do the predators want? Well, per that report, they are looking for these takeaways.
- To obtain explicit photos of children (or to share photos of their own)
- To meet in person and engage in sexual activity
- To engage in sexual conversation and/or online role-play
- To receive some sort of financial benefit
To get these objectives they can do anything.
Modus operandi of online predators
The whole process of “grooming” that an online predator follows a four step process. Their ways are very similar to serial killers who use the vulnerbilities of their victims to hook them into their trap. (Read Invaluable lessons from encounters with serial killers)
Earn Child’s trust – using compliments, shared interests, and likes and commenting
Understanding landscape – the predator tries to understand how engaged the guardians and if there is no supervision, then they go ahead more boldly.
Normalize sexuality – they send unsolicited explicit images of themselves and sometimes even of other kids.
Throw the bait – they start to go for the ‘jugular’ once they have hooked the kid. They use explicit photos, attempts to meet in person, engaging in role-play, or blackmailing the victim for financial gain.
Saving the kids from online predators
Just simple steps as supervision and checking the access of a kid’s phone apps and being aware of what is going on in the world of predators can help one save many kids. At some age, kids need to be apprised of the dangers out there so they can decipher things when they encounter them when things are low for them.
No one can be with the kids all the time. There are certain times when one can be checking but it cannot be all the time. For those times the kids need to know the danger. These are times when the kids will have to grow up faster. The danger is just too overwhelming.
Featured Image by Anja????#helpinghands#stayathome #solidarity#stays healthy???? from Pixabay
This infographic details the whole world of online sexual predators,