Parents, be aware and beware

Parents, be aware and beware

Parents, be aware and beware

A promoter of child dignity in the digital world is urging parents to protect their children from online predators, as research shows they are upping their game.

Donna Rice Hughes, founder of Enough Is Enough (EIE), tells One News Now a report from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) reveals an alarming increase in the grooming of children for illicit purposes during the pandemic -- a 77% increase over previous totals.

She says once the material goes online, including explicit photos and videos, it cannot be taken back.

"These images find their way into the child porn hubs and to the hands of sexual predators who will obviously use the content," Hughes asserts. "They can also use the content to bribe and to silence the kids, usually girls that are posting these types of images."

In fact, the IWF discovered a 78% increase in reported cases involving girls ages 11 to 13 for 2018; that same age group accounts for 93% of the total for 2020.

Hughes, Donna Rice (Enough is Enough) Hughes

"They're very curious," Hughes relays. "They put a lot of information out there. They're seeking to gain the attention of boys. Unfortunately, sexual predators, any age upwards to 70 years old, can pose as boys and seduce these girls online."

The EIE founder laments there is no one solution to the problem, but she insists the first line of defense is parents. So she stresses they must understand their children are not immune to tricky predators who have mastered all the words and techniques they need to tempt youngsters into making decisions they will have to live with for a lifetime.