Guest Blog by John-Michael Lander for The UNITE in LIGHT DV AWARENESS Conference
PARENTS, PLEASE ATTEND!
In the vast and ever-evolving realm of the internet, shadows lurk, waiting to trap the unsuspecting. As we dive into the world of Predatory Internet Grooming©, or PIG, prepare to uncover a chilling reality that has largely gone unnoticed by the majority. Only about 15% of parents truly grasp what their children are doing online, and what's happening in those digital spaces is shocking.
The online world can be a vast, intricate maze. Predators are cunning architects, and they've designed it to trap the unsuspecting. While parents may think their children are safe behind digital walls, they're oblivious to the intricate traps and snares set by these predators.
Imagine a seemingly ordinary evening in a typical household. The parents are exhausted from a long day's work and believe their children are tucked away in their rooms, surfing the web, doing homework, or chatting with friends. Little do they know that beyond the glowing screens, more than 500,000 predators are attempting to contact children daily. Half a million predators prowl the internet's virtual streets, targeting children between ages 12 and 15.
500,000 Predators Attempt to Contact Your Child
Five hundred thousand predators daily is not a coincidence; it's a stark reality. Many of these predators prefer and lean toward male children because they find them more accessible to connect with, manipulate, and even blackmail. Moreover, male victims are less likely to report these encounters, giving predators a sinister advantage in their wicked game.
In February 2023, the FBI issued a chilling warning that sent shockwaves through concerned communities worldwide. They sounded the alarm about a global financial sextortion crisis growing exponentially. The problem has seen an alarming increase in the number of boys under 18 falling victim to it.
Predators are like puppeteers, deftly pulling the strings behind the digital curtains. Sextortion is their weapon of choice, a menacing means of control. These predators extract personal information for financial gain by exploiting their young victims' vulnerabilities. The shadows are growing darker, and the age of victims is plummeting.
PIG© is not a problem we can afford to ignore. We must equip ourselves with knowledge and tools to protect children from the clutches of these predators. We can empower children to confidently navigate the digital maze, outsmarting the predators and leaving the predators bewildered and defeated.
Predators are Skilled
A predator is a skilled angler, casting a baited hook into a tranquil pond. The bait is enticing - it could be a seemingly harmless online game, a captivating YouTube channel, an engaging online chat room, or a social media platform. Curious by nature, children bite onto the bait without realizing the hidden dangers beneath the surface.
Once predators establish a connection, they morph into master manipulators. They gradually build trust, posing as friendly peers, mentors, or even empathetic confidants. They are digital shapeshifters, adapting to their targets' needs and vulnerabilities while concealing their sinister motives.
PARENTS YOU MUST BE VIGILENT!
As a parent or guardian, it's crucial to recognize the warning signs. Changes in behavior, secrecy about online activities, or abrupt withdrawal from real-life social interactions can indicate that something sinister may be afoot. The changes may be flickering light in your child's demeanor, a subtle but noticeable shift you must not ignore.
The virtual world isn't limited to your child's laptop or smartphone. It's a vast ecosystem, from social media platforms to online gaming communities to virtual game headsets. Predators thrive in this interconnected web, moving seamlessly between different digital domains. They exploit the blurred lines between personal and public information, piecing together fragments of the child's life until they have enough to manipulate and control.
It's a game of chess, where predators are the grandmasters. They anticipate every move and every vulnerability, and they exploit them relentlessly. In their pursuit of control, they may use blackmail, emotional manipulation, or threats to coerce their victims into compliance. The child's sense of security crumbles, leaving them scared, depressed, shameful, and suicidal.
PARENTS, WE CAN MAKE a DIFFERENCE
We can make a difference. As a parent or guardian, it starts with open communication. Engage in candid conversations about online safety, emphasizing the importance of trust and vigilance. Teach children to recognize the warning signs, just as you would teach them to navigate through a forest, watching for signs of danger.
Encourage the child to confide in you, assuring they won't face judgment or blame if they encounter something unsettling online. Be their digital ally, helping them understand the difference between a true friend and a digital predator.
Imagine the satisfaction of knowing that you've empowered your child to outwit the predators so that they're no longer easy prey in the virtual wilderness. Picture a future where children can explore the digital landscape with confidence, not fear, because they are armed with the awareness and skills to stay safe.
The shadows may be dark, but knowledge is our beacon of light. Join us at the Unite in Light DV Awareness Conference as we discuss the secrets of Predatory Internet Grooming© (PIG), equipping you with the power to protect your child's digital innocence. Together, we will fortify the digital realm, making it a safer place for children to thrive.
UNITE in LIGHT DV AWARENESS CONFERENCE!
PARENTS!!!!! This is a must-listen! Oct 17, 2023 at 6:30 pm MDT