One in four US teen girls reported that they met strangers off the Internet. One in seven boys admitted they did as well. While most of these "Internet friends" turn out to be another teen or preteen, that's not always the case. Unfortunately, children are now dying at the hands of their Internet child molesters and, not all sexual exploitation of children occurs offline.
These child molesters are blackmailing the children into performing sexual acts in the comfort of their own homes, on web cams. Yet, 100% of the children molested by Internet sexual predators went willingly to a meeting. They may have thought they were meeting a cute fourteen year old boy or girl, but they knew they didn't know the person in real life. Canada is one of the world's top internet nations with millions of people of all ages going online every day. That makes young Canadians a prime target for "cyber-stalkers," who are just waiting to feed off the insecurities of children and ultimately lure them away from the safety of their computers, and their homes.
In 2000, Cassandra Parlee, a 14-year-old girl in Port Moody, B.C., who came close to traveling across two provinces to meet someone she had met only online.
Also in 2000, another 14-year-old girl wasn't so lucky.
The girl, who can't be named, received this e-mail from her "cyber pal."
I thought about you and what I would do if we were together and this happened when we had our baby... You are my inspiration and my soul! I can hardly wait till you're with me. Love, your man Jason
Jason turned out to be 28-year-old Jason Wright from Washington State. He arrived at the girl's home in Victoria, B.C., and drove away with her.
Police caught up with them and charged Wright with abduction and sexual assault. Police say Wright had spent a night in a hotel with the girl. They also found a notebook containing the names and e-mail addresses of other young girls in Canada and the U.S.
Wright was found not guilty of both charges.
What is online stalking?
Profile of an online predator
How to minimize the chances of your child becoming a victim
How to know if your child is being targeted by an online predator
What to do if you suspect your child is communicating with an online predator
What is online stalking?
Online stalking is increasingly in the news these days. Online stalking, also known as cyber stalking is a form of harassment using Internet technologies. This type of harassment can exist online or it can escalate into a real-world situation. Either way, it is very disturbing. When the victims are young people, we call these stalkers "online predators ". An online predator, like any predator, can be any age or sex. He could be considered "the guy down the street who kept to himself". The loner type, very few friends and typically not married.
A child predator most often has limited social skills, but a propensity to engage in conversation with an adolescent or child. This individual will tend to become shy with adults of his own age. He tends to seek out jobs that allow him to work around children, such as a baseball or basketball coach, Boy Scout leader, janitor or teacher at the school.
Child predators usually see nothing wrong with their behavior. Child predators come from all walks of life, some are rich, some are poor, some are educated and some are not. They usually have sexually abusive or violent background histories. Child predators will "target" numerous children at one time. Their words are cunning and they take their time to "groom" their victims. "Grooming" is done by showering their victims with gifts, signs of affection and anything else they can, in order to build trust and a relationship with potential victims. Once trust is built, blackmail and guilt are sometimes used to get the child to succumb to their demands. They will stalk the Internet sites that most children and teens regularly visit....
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