Christy's Cause Releases New Public Service Announcement
Video brings awareness to increased risk of child exploitation due to school closings
By: Christy's Cause
"Due to school closings as a result of COVID-19, children will potentially have an increased online presence and be in a position that puts them at an inadvertent risk," said Christy Ivie, founder of Christy's Cause. "With The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Cyber Tip Line receiving over 18.4 million reports in 2018 related to child sexual abuse images, online enticement, sextortion, child sex trafficking and child sexual molestation, we have to be serious about engaging in age-appropriate conversations in order to educate and protect our children. Awareness plays a major role in prevention and intervention. The goal of our PSA is to warn parents, educators, caregivers, and children about the dangers of online sexual exploitation."
On March 23, 2020 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) issued a warning due to school closings as a result of COVID-19, children will potentially have an increased online presence and/or be in a position that puts them at an inadvertent risk. Due to this newly developing environment, the FBI is seeking to warn parents, educators, caregivers, and children about the dangers of online sexual exploitation and signs of child abuse.
Online sexual exploitation comes in many forms. Individuals may coerce victims into providing sexually explicit images or videos of themselves, often in compliance with offenders' threats to post the images publicly or send the images to victims' friends and family.
Other offenders may make casual contact with children online, gain their trust, and introduce sexual conversation that increases over time. Ultimately this activity may result in maintaining an online relationship that includes sexual conversation and the exchange of illicit images, to eventually physically meeting the child in-person.
In order for the victimization to stop, children typically have to come forward to someone they trust—typically a parent, teacher, caregiver, or law enforcement. The embarrassment of being enticed and/or coerced to engage in unwanted behavior is what often prevents children from coming forward. Coming forward to help law enforcement identify offenders may prevent countless other incidents of sexual exploitation.
Visit christyscause.com for resources and to read our detailed editorial in Parent and Child magazine, "How to talk to your kids about sex trafficking and exploitation."
Elly Hagen Marketing & PR