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We’ve all been hearing about pedophiles who make victims of children on the internet, and with the Dateline NBC series titled To Catch a Predator, millions of Americans actually viewed some of these predators.
When we think of a predator, we often think of a reclusive, “redneck” sort of person, toothless, wearing a muscle shirt (sometimes called a “wife-beater”) while typing rapidly online; all the while pretending to be a 15 year old boy. However, that was not the type of person America witnessed entering the homes set up as sting operations by Dateline and law enforcement.
There was the baby faced unemployed man who, one day after being caught by law enforcement, was caught committing the same, exact cyber crime using a McDonald’s WiFi system the very next day! Even Chris Hanson of Dateline NBC couldn’t hide his incredulity on camera as the man emerged from the fast food lobby after his online actions had been watched by law enforcement.
Then, there was the young man who had been married exactly two months. Two months of marriage, and he felt he had to pursue an under aged girl for sex online!!
Then, there was the rabbi. A clergyman; a man of the cloth. A person who holds the highest respect within the Jewish community and beyond. That man is now serving a prison sentence for his crime.
There have been other news sources that reported crimes that were committed after an adult and a child met online. In Danbury Connecticut, a sixth grade girl was killed by a man she had originally met online, and whom she had met up with on several occasions for sex.
Also in Connecticut, not very far from the first crime, a 16 year old girl was raped by a man who she met on an internet chatroom.
In Western Washington, an admitted pedophile created an “instruction manual” of sorts for pedophile. From Fox News:
A Web site created by a pedophile is a virtual “how-to” manual, complete with the best places in western Washington state to see little girls, and tips on how to avoid getting caught by the police.
This man has pictures of little girls from the area; children who have not given permission to be photographed. Neither have their parents given this man permission to post pictures of their vulnerable children online. Police cannot do anything to stop this man because he has not officially committed a crime. Yet, his website has pictures of local children on it. A website DESIGNED for pedophiles.
Parents, it is my opinion that you MUST take action that will protect your child from becoming the next statistic. If you haven’t already warned them not to give out personal information such as addresses and telephone numbers, do it today. View their profiles on networking sites such as MySpace, and look at their buddy lists. Ask to see what sites they frequent and ask what they like about those sites. Ask the hard questions, too; has anyone ever approached you on an internet site and said or done something that made you feel uncomfortable?
I am committed to keeping children and teens safe from online dangers. Not only is there information for parents on my website, but there is a message board forum for parents, educators, and other interested parties to discuss what can be done to keep kids safe online, as well as a place to post stories about steps your family has taken to keep your own children safe online. I’ve also included a page of news stories that show what can and does happen to children from people they have encountered on the Internet. Another feature of my site is a partnership with others who have websites designed for online safety for children. Among these is CyberAngels, and KidsBeSafeOnline.
Anyone with information for parents or educators on how to keep kids safe online, or anyone who would like to see information about online safety is free to visit my site. Come and chat, post your story, or simply take a look at the information.
write by Eirian/Arian