Children are suffering when people abuse them physical and psychical. Taken as it is, Internet can harm children indirectly through the unfiltered content and information it provides. Being an infinite resource we can choose to take from it only what is good and to eliminate what is bad. Unfortunately teens cannot decide what the best is and a child on the Internet is in most cases a victim.
Internet can be an education and informational tool, a source of fun and socialization but on the other side is the great tool for evil minds. Nowadays a new form of slavery is the human trafficking. This is not exclusive to sexual exploitation with respect to women or children trafficking but also covers child labor. It is estimated that over 900,000 people are being trafficked every year over the Internet.
Statistics involving children’s computer and Internet activity are shocking. Increasing numbers shows that our society is going in the wrong direction. There are many examples like:
• One in five U.S. teenagers who regularly log on to the Internet says they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the Web.
• 25% of children have been exposed to unwanted pornographic material online.
• 77% of the targets for online predators were age 14 or older. Another 22% were users ages 10 to 13.
Different associations and centers have initiated campaigns and researches regarding youth Internet users.
The Internet Watch Foundation report potentially illegal online content and made statistics on child abuse images online. As you can see in the chart below, 10% of the child victims we see being sexually abused in photos or videos appear to be under two years old, 33% between three and six years etc. These babies and young children are being raped and aggressed and pictures, videos with these facts are distributed over the Internet with an unimaginable cruelty.
The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children founded a study over a five years period. At the end of the study they observed an increase in encountering unwanted exposures to sexual material (from 25% to 34%), an increase in online harassment with 3% and 31 % of the solicitants were aggressive asking for offline contact with children.
According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, suspects arrested and booked for a sex offense increased from 431 in 1994 to 2,191 in 2006. This was a 15% annual average increase, making sex offenses among the fastest growing crimes handled by the Federal justice system.
As any media, spending too much time on the internet can replace other important activities from your child’s life.
Here is aaimed to help you better understand the risks children are facing online and advise you how to transform Internet in a safe environment for them.