Digital Pornography and the Children

Comments on the book “Digital Sexual Victims: True Cases”

by Charlene E. Doak-Gebauer

 

The author poses a big question: How our society protects children under the age of 16 from the dangers that lurk in the digital world? Electronic devices such computers and cell phones offer access to a huge amount of information–some very detrimental to the well-being of children.

At the beginning, the author describes a tragic case at length and then reports of two incidents of which she was the victim.  After this kind of prologue, she depicts the different phases of child pornography: how sexual predators lure very young people; how they acquire and distribute pictures with sexual content; how parents unknowingly supply information, mostly through Facebook, on the household, school, children’s friends, their children’s accomplishments and activities; how all this can help a predator build a profile of the targeted victim and initiate him/her to visual sexual activities. All this information can also help a predator to stalk a child in the vicinity of the school or playground and ultimately can provide a means to abduct the child.

Parents are the natural and primary “defenders”; the author lists a number of suggestions for the parents to be in control of how their children communicate with friends via social media—mainly using computers hooked up to the Internet or cell phones. Some of these suggestions require a bit of computer knowledge, others are elementary. To start with, she suggests to keep the family main server in a safe place out of children’s reach (the parents’ bedroom for instance). If there is some computer knowledge, the parents can install software that routes what is on the child’s cell phone and/or personal computer (messages and pictures from friends, downloads from the Internet) onto the family server where it can be easily checked. If there is limited computer knowledge, then protect the children from late-hour communication; this is the time predators prefer for contacting potential victims. Just turn off the Internet (router or modem) at night and have the children’s phones turned in.

Finally, a section at the end explains what child pornography consists of according to The Child Protection Act of the Canadian Criminal Code. See:

http:// laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/section-163.1.htm

This book is an incredible source of up-to-date facts, strategies and suggestions to protect children from predators with digital expertise.

 

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