Sexual abuse of children is a social time bomb

Q. My 13-year-old daughter has been stalked by few boys online and they are forcing her to post her nude photographs to them and threatening her if she would not send, then they will make her chats with one of them and defame her.

KU. Internet predators use the same luring strategies online that are used offline. They typically target uninformed and unsuspecting youngsters. Get them to engage in virtual relationships by luring them with flattery, attention and feelings of being close to an online friend. In this case, also it seems the little girl was familiar with one boy, who ganged up with few more to sexually harass her. For the safety of the child, it’s important that you as parents need to contact the crime branch and get the predators punished. Also help your daughter to overcome the fear of these rogues by undergoing some sessions of counselling.

Sexual abuse of children is a social time bomb, with the potential of destroying many futures. To stop the victimization of our children, educating our children is very important.

Sex lures fall into number of categories. Knowledge of these is essential for a child’s safety and they should be taught by every parent and guardian.

Affection/ Love lure: Molesters are not always strangers. 80-85% crimes against children are committed by the one known to the child, someone the child loves or trusts. As parents or guardians for must question the motive of any adult even a family member, who seems highly interested in kids and wants to spend a lot of time alone with them. Monitor and participate in child’s activities and tell them to share any improper advances. Studies reveal that children rarely lie about sexual molestation.

Assistance Lure: Asking the child for help, requests can include direction, landmarks or carrying any load or packages to the car. Children should be told that an adult should be asking direction to another adult. They need to be told if such a situation arises child should run and scream for help.

Bribery Lure: Offering sweets, toys, money, promise to marry. Telling children the traditional caution not to accept bribery still applies. As parents if you see items not bought by you in your child’s possession, question the child

Ego/Fame Lure: Promising the child with a modelling job or chance to contest in beauty competition, offering private audition.

Adolescents who lonely, neglected, confused or risk-taking are most vulnerable. The risk increases manifolds if they share intimate images of themselves or have inappropriate conversations with the predator.

The internet predator becomes a very serious threat when they obtain a youngster’s personal information like their full name, phone number, address, school, or sports team, convince them to send inappropriate images, manages to arrange a private, in-person meeting.

Many children who have shared too much personal information or have agreed to an in-person meeting without adult supervision have been robbed, physically assaulted and sexually abused.

Cyber predators who convince youngsters to share intimate pictures or videos often blackmail them to get more images.

If your child or anyone in your circle is suffering from a similar issue, you must not ignore it. Help the child immediately to come out of the situation and take professional help so that they can overcome the trauma.

Kavita Upadhyay

Student counsellor and has expertise in teaching psychology, career counselling, stress management and gender issues. Kavita is also an expert practitioner in marital counselling, life skills, interaction with the community, research and tool construction. You can follow her work here.

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