Understanding the Impact of Sextortion on Prepubescent Children
Several times a week I am contacted by distressed parents of 8-9-10-11 year old girls and boys, who have been exploited through someone they met on social media. It is heartbreaking for all concerned. The parent (especially dads) are experiencing deep loss when they find out their innocent little girl has sent vile sexual photos of herself to a pedophile she met in a Roblox or Minecraft game or through Kik or Facebook. The child, whether boy or girl, is trapped and being threatened by the predator.
Take the case of John Peter Byrns, who drove from his home in Illinois because he lured an 11-year-old Florida girl to sneak out in the middle of night. By the time her family went in to wake her up for church the next morning, she was missing. They later found her in a motel with Byrns in Georgia. Her parents knew she was talking to a guy in Illinois on a video game but they did not recognize the danger she was in.
The psychological impact of sextortion on children who have not yet developed their sexual and moral identity is enormous. One of the challenges is that the child does not have the physical equipment or the intellectual capacity to understand why a pedophile wants their photos.
In many online video games SEX IS A WEAPON for which you receive points. No love, no respect, just points. When sex is used by predators to trap kids, they experience multiple levels of shame and depression. Today, predators define our kids sexuality BEFORE parents have “The Talk.”
Parents also process loss, blame, and shame. They must seek counseling. Parents must come together in this situation or children will experience more rejection and shame than they did with the pedophile. And parents will blame each other.
Join us Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 7a.m. PST on VOICE AMERICA – Variety Channel as we explore the impact of sextortion on prepubescent children.
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RESOURCES, LINKS and CASES:
- Australian convicted of internet luring of 13-year-old girl to be deported
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