How to Protect your Child from Online Perpetrators
At Defend Innocence we spend a lot of time talking about perpetrators of child sexual abuse and grooming patterns to watch out for. In our technology-driven world, perpetrators can utilize technology to their advantage.
Below are 5 stages of grooming that online perpetrators commonly follow:
Friendship Forming Stage
Relationship Forming stage
Risk Assessment Stage
Depending on the age, education, and ignorance level of the child, these stages can progress quickly or over a few weeks or months and typically escalate much faster than in-person perpetration. While there are many similarities between online and in-person perpetrators, the biggest difference is that online perpetrators are more likely to be a stranger. They’ll find your child through games they play, apps they use, or social media they frequent. It’s important to keep open communication with your child or teen about who they talk to online and what the nature of their relationship is.
Because online filters don’t have a “block all potential perpetrators” option, make sure that you and your child talk openly and honestly about what’s happening online and when they should come to you.
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