The National Police Defense Foundation recently initiated “Project SafeNet” in order to address the serious increase of pedophile activity on the internet. The program is being coordinated with several law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Our Police Chiefs Coalition will reward any child with a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond for information that leads to the federal arrest and conviction of any pedophile soliciting victims on the internet. Project Pedophile was profiled on several news networks that resulted in numerous complaints that will help prosecute pedophiles.
Predators may act upon fantasies in one place where children should feel safe, e.g. the classroom, playgrounds, and the internet. According to a well respected researcher in this field “they’re aware that people can be watching, and even so, they are very open about the nature of what they’re doing”. It is easy for children to unknowingly end up in a pedophile’s playground, online chat rooms. Instant messages and message boards are easy ways for sexual predators to hunt their prey. Predators meet their “YF” a popular abbreviation for “Young Friend” with the cover of the internet’s anonymity. Some of the statistics are alarming:
- 1 of 5 girls will be sexually molested before her 18th birthday.
- 1 of 6 boys will be sexually molested before his 18th birthday.
- 1 of 5 children has been propositioned for sex over the internet.
- 2 of 3 sexual abuses are perpetrated against teenagers or younger children.
- 90% of sexual assaults are committed against someone the perpetrator knows.
- The median age for male molestation victims under 18 is 9.8 years old.
- The median age for female molestation victims under 18 is 9.6 years old.
- There are new 400,000 victims of sexual assault every year.
- There are over 550,000 registered sex offenders in the US.
- There are over 100,000 sex offenders that fail to register in the US.
- 76% of serial rapists claim they were molested as children.
- Over 40% of male juvenile delinquents were molested as children
The NPDF’s Project SafeNet recommends children and their parents follow these simple rules for their protection.
- Never agree to meet in person with anyone you have spoken to online.
- Never enter a chat room without Mom and/or Dad’s presence or supervision. Some “kids” you meet in chat rooms may not really be kids; they may be adults with bad intentions. Remember, people may not be who they say they are.
- Never tell anyone online where you will be or what you will be doing.
- Never respond to or send e-mail to new people you meet online.
- Never go to a new online area that is going to cost additional money without first getting permission from a parent or guardian.
- Never send a picture over the internet or via regular mail to anyone you have met on the internet.
- Never buy or order products online or give out any credit card information online.
- Never respond to belligerent or suggestive contact or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. End such an experience by logging off and telling your parents as soon as possible.
- Always tell someone you know about anything you saw, intentionally or unintentionally, that is upsetting. (it is better for your child’s mental health to be able to discuss exposure to pornography than for it to become a dark and confusing secret.)
- Be sure to keep computers in common household areas.
- Children should have gender-neutral screen names.
- Talk to your child about what sites they visit, whom they communicate with and who’s on their buddy list.
NO software will ever be a substitute for being an active parent!
Check your child’s “sent mail” and “recently deleted” mail whenever possible. If a message looks curious INVESTIGATE FURTHER. Nosey is good! Always remember that a predator relies on those in supervisory/parental to remain ignorant of what they are doing!