|Protecting Your Children from Sextortion|
Teens are notorious for being careless most of the time. Along with this carelessness comes the danger of exposure to abuse and exploitation. With the rapid onset of technological advances in information and communication, young people are the ones who can adapt fast, leaving behind the older generation, which includes their parents. But what’s very troubling about technology is that it often carries a dark side. One such dark side, though not that prevalent, is sexting.
Not all people know about sexting, and that’s what makes it alarming. It is an act mostly done by teens wherein they send and exchange sexually explicit images or videos with each other through cell phones and the internet. For most Christians and others with moral standards, this is a dangerous and self degrading practice. For most teens, however, it’s just another sign of being in their generation.
Parents should be able to emphasize to their teenagers how much risk they are taking. By the time a pornographer gets a hold of those images or videos, “sextortion” takes place.
Sextortion is the likely consequence of sexting. When the images and videos are sent to someone other than the original recipient, there is a high chance of the girl or boy in the images being tracked down and extorted to produce more material. These sextortionists blackmail the teen to send more pictures or videos with a racy or sexually explicit theme in exchange for the assurance that those previously obtained materials will be kept as a secret for the both of them.
But soon after sending additional material, everything becomes an endless cycle. The pornographer constantly asks for more and the teen victim does not have a choice but to send more, just to make sure no other person can see them. With this, absolute trauma, fear, and embarrassment are just a few consequences for the victim.
If you are a parent, you need to step up your fight against manipulative criminals who pose a very dangerous threat to your children. What you need to do is dig a bit deeper on the roots of the crime and then pull it out for good! You cannot rely on the police and authorities to catch these perverts since it is very hard to do so.
You begin by foreseeing the consequences. First, try to imagine what would happen if it actually happens to your child. Of course, you cannot expect that your teen will tell you about it, at least for a certain period. So this means that prevention is always better than cure. By the time your teen is blackmailed by a sextortionist, you are left without a choice but to risk embarrassment and trauma for your son or daughter. So the best thing to do is prevent it from happening. Educate your kids about the dangers of sexting and emphasize to them how distressing it can be when someone is able to get hold of those racy photos and videos. Also, it can be extremely helpful to reassure them that you will not overact in anger if they do get caught up in this form of sexual extortion. Their fear of your punishment is one of the main tools a sextortionist can use to keep control of your child. You certainly have every right to punish them for deliberately disobeying you, but your first concern is, of course, their safety and helping them find justice for the crime committed.
But in reality, talking and educating them about issues of sex and abuse are not enough to prevent them from being vulnerable. Thus, another thing you must do as a parent is monitor your teen’s activities especially those that involve the internet. You can even install parental software and programs just to make sure that they aren’t exposed to sexually explicit material over the web. These are simple yet helpful things you can do in order to make an effort in protecting your kids against sextortion.