The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a new program targeting “Violent Crimes Against Children.” Their new program and web page provide a vast resource for parents, teachers, caregivers, and law enforcement where anyone can find useful information regarding the types of crimes children face from parental kidnappings, sex trafficking, online exploitation, and violent assaults. The focus is to educate and raise awareness of the dangers our children face every day.
There are real world dangers facing every child in America whether they are at home, school, a friend’s house, or part of a group or organization, like the Boy or Girl scouts of America. We have seen a tremendous change in the last decade involving the explosion of technology available to the public, and especially young children.
As a nation, we are facing new concerns with the continued advancements in both electronic and social media. Many parents often fail to accept or respect the real dangers their choices place their child in when they offer a child a cell phone, computer, iPod, Nintendo DS or other electronic device that has access to the internet.
The World Wide Web received that name because literally anyone can now access the entire world in a few clicks of a button, and if not careful can end up in extremely horrifying places. According to the FBI, “Today, computer telecommunications have become one of the most prevalent techniques used by pedoph*les to not only share illegal images of minors, but to also lure child victims into illicit sexual relationships.”
This is not going to change in the future, and parents must provide adequate education informing their children on how to stay safe online. Children need to be taught exactly what information is reasonable to give out and what information is NEVER to be shared. It also means not allowing children to be unsupervised while on the internet. This would be like a parent leaving a child in an unlocked car while mom or dad shops for hours in a mall never checking to see if the child is still safe.
Children should not have computer access in areas that cannot be easily visualized by a parent, and this includes any area where the door can be closed. The Violent Crimes Against Children program was implemented by the FBI for “the express purpose of protecting our nation’s greatest asset—our children.”
Please visit the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children for helpful information in how to keep your children safe. If your child is targeted by a child predator, provide the information to authorities immediately.
FBI — Overview and History. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/vc_majorthefts/cac/overview-and-history