This can start a cycle of abuse with offenders making increasing demands for the children to appear on webcam and perform sexual acts.In some cases they have been forced to physically hurt themselves or involve other children.Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that approximately 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. According to the US Department of Justice only 10% of perpetrators were strangers to the child and 23% of the perpetrators were children themselves! In my practice I meet children on a weekly basis who have been victims of sexual abuse. Almost all of them knew their perpetrator and more often than not – it is another kid! Parents will frequently tell me that they didn’t think this could happen to them. I know that is hard to stomach – but unfortunately it is reality.That they never leave their children with strangers. I have worked with really great families – who thought they had really great friends, neighbors, playmates, teachers, coaches, teammates, cousins, babysitters, siblings, uncles, boyfriends, and classmates. They look just like your child – I think that is the scariest fact. Here are the 10 most important areas to cover: I am not naïve enough to believe that these discussions will absolutely prevent sexual abuse, but I know that children are at a much greater risk without these talks. This is a topic that should be revisited again and again.“And we teach our kids at a very, very young age about stranger danger, but that also applies to online if you don't know who these folks are.”Liberti said more Northeast Ohioans are coming to the FBI and explaining that they or their children were fooled online by a predator.Liberti explained that the most alarming part of these cases is how easily it is for children to become victimized.They might pretend to be the same age as the child, flirting with them and asking them to engage in sexual acts.In some cases they will use information which the young person has shared, for example personal problems or family difficulties, as leverage to get the young person to go on webcam or share a sexual image.
But the conversations will become flirty, and eventually the predator will push the child to take part in compromising behavior in front of a web camera.“What parents need to realize is once these conversations, once these relationships start, the most common thing that we're seeing is the kids going from a social media app, like Facebook, over to Skype, where now we're using web cams, and if you're got a bad guy on the other end of that web cam, there's a very good chance he's got some software that's allowing him to record his screen,” Liberti said.
This means it can be hard to tell the difference between someone genuine and someone dangerous.
If anyone tries to get you to do things you don’t want to do, you should talk to someone you trust or report to CEOP You won’t be in trouble, whatever may have happened.
CLEVELAND - The Cleveland FBI has found that sexual predators are getting more creative in deceiving people online and that no one is exempt from being targeted.
The most common targets are children.“We're seeing a trend in which you've got a lot of younger kids - pre-teens, 10, 11, 12 years old - who are online, talking to people they don't know,” said Special Agent Kelly Liberti.
Once they have an image or video they will then use it to blackmail them, telling the child that if they don’t do what they say they will share the image or video online.