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Characteristics of a Child Molester – Internet Sex Offenders

Characteristics of a Child Molester – Internet Sex Offenders

Internet Sex Offenders

Internet sex offenders typically start exploiting in a very non-threatening way, “luring” children and youth to reveal personal details about themselves and family members. Internet offenders are definitely on the rise.

A U.S. study surveying a nationally representative sample of 1,501 children/youth aged 10-17 who regularly use the Internet found the following results regarding sexual solicitations and exposure to sexual materials (Finkelhor et al., 2000(1); Crimes Against Children Research Centre, 2002):

  • 19% of the children/youth surveyed reported being approached for sex through Internet media at least once a year; 1 in 7 of these children reported that the Internet sex offenders also attempted to contact them by telephone or by mail.
  • 24% of all solicitations and 34% of all aggressive solicitations were made by adults aged 18 and older.
  • 25% of all aggressive solicitations were made by females.
  • Chat Rooms were the medium for two-thirds of the solicitations, and 24% came through Instant Messaging.

Internet Guidelines for Parents

Though there are several international agencies working toward protecting children and youth from Internet sex offenders, it is ultimately the responsibility of the parents to protect their children. Child Net International and How to Keep Safe While Chatting Online suggest the following Guidelines for Parents:

  • Learn how the Internet works and what the dangers are.
  • Keep the computer in the family room, not the more private child’s bedroom.
  • Discuss safety issues with your child and use filtering software if necessary.
  • Ensure that children never reveal personal and private information about themselves or family members.
  • Never let children meet an on-line new friend without accompanying them.
  • Know where and to whom you can report any questionable or suspicious activity.
  • source: http://www.child-abuse-effects.com/Internet-sex-offenders.html

Footnotes:

(1) Finkelhor, D., Mitchell,K., & Wolak, J. (2000, June). Online victimization: A report on the nation’s youth. Alexandria, VA.: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

 

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