The internet can be a helpful tool both academically and socially. However, there are some grave risks linked with utilizing the internet and other technology. Just like the real world, children and young individuals are susceptible and may intentionally or innocently expose themselves to peril while using the internet. This paper aims to show the internet contributes to date rape of children and possible prevention procedures.
The coming up of sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace has totally changed the way people commune with one another other and the world around them. These revolutionary sites have power-driven the present day digital media bombardment that has made the most of one of the things adolescents do finest - . By giving out personal information to the online world of instantaneous indulgence, teens are naively helping create an online culture that yields victimization and serves to promote assaults that were conventionally found off-line .
One of the major dangers of using the internet is that kids may be exposed to unsuitable information. This could be pornographic, violent or hateful in nature; that promotes activities that are treacherous or unlawful, age inappropriate or prejudiced. Bullying is another vice of the use of the internet which is perceived as offering an unidentified way by which bullies can distress their victims. Kids may receive emails or phone messages that make them feel gloomy, humiliated, upset, dejected or scared. This could be detrimental to the child’s confidence and psychological welfare.
Internet usage by children poses a risk of physical danger. Some individuals use the internet to establish contact with children, both male and female, with the intent of mounting a relationship which they can evolve to sexual activity. This is called grooming. Pedophiles often do this by pretense as a young individual with comparable interests as the intended prey. They will try hard to earn the trust of the victims and want to meet up the kids in person. They could also lie in and wait for kids to mention online that they will be meeting friends at a particular place, at a certain time. Some kids, especially adolescents, are nosy about sexuality, and sexually unconcealed information, and they can seek satisfactions for their curiosities online. Hence, perilous circumstances usually occur due to the presence of pedophile on the other side of the internet waiting to discover such children, seduce them, and sexually harass them.
In-time synchronized communication or chat is a trendy of means of communication on the internet. No archives or stored and, no log-on files are maintained, as is done with emails or web accesses, so stalkers use them to search for victims without the fear of being tracked by the law enforcement authorities. There have been numerous cases in the USA and the UK where strangers for both online and physical meetings. During these meetings, children are emotionally and sexually abused. In chat rooms, strangers engage children in sexual conversations or expose them to sexual material, including adult and children pornography. Predators sexually exploit children online through these chats. Perpetrators request kids to send them sexual images or pictures of themselves or their pals. They may persuade the children to carry out sexual deeds on themselves or with their friends for the stalker’s sexual pleasure. Stalkers use these tricks as part of the grooming procedure to lure children into more direct and close contact such as phone conversation and eventual physical meeting.
When the child stalkers use voice chats, they encourage the children to use headphones to reduce the risk of someone else hearing the voices. They suggest that the children get web cameras for their computers and move their computers to their bedrooms, where the stalker can encourage sexual touching and masturbation as they watch via the web cam. A typical trick is when the stalker asks the victim what they are wearing. This is followed by asking the victim to take off some clothing such as the underwear. The more cunning pedophile will say something more bland like, ‘do u enjoy taking showers?’ swiftly followed by, ‘do you touch yourself in the bath?’ It is also common to ask the victim if they have pubic hair in order to establish a mental image of their level of physical maturity. The intension of most pedophiles is to engage the victim in cybersex activities, which may eventually lead to physical intimacy .
After a considerable period of time, the children are successfully convinced to meet the pedophiles without prior knowledge of their parents or guardians. The children in some cases may hint out to their friends about the meeting but not to their siblings. The pedophiles all along portray themselves as harmless, loving individuals who just want to hang out with the children and have a good time. They suggest meeting the children in public places such as cinemas, parks and restaurants. With an evil plan of raping the child at hand, the pedophiles successfully convince the children to move to a more private place. This may include the pedophile’s residence, basement parking bays, secluded parts of a park or in the pedophile’s car parked in an isolated area. They trick the children with gifts and enticing promises to be delivered at the private location and hence they win the trust of the children.
Some pedophiles serve children with drug-spiked drinks with drugs such as Progesterex, Rohypnol and GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyrate). Soon after, the drug-spiked drink is ingested, the victim faints. Victims usually come around with ill effects such as memory loss, body weakness and fatigue. Consequently, the victim may neither resist nor remember the sexual assault, let alone who did it. In other cases, pedophiles do not use date-rape drugs, but forcefully force themselves on the children. However, some children especially teenagers are eager to satisfy their sexual desires and curiosities by meeting strangers. Date rapes and defilement leave victims traumatized if not pregnant, infected with sexually transmitted diseases or even dead.
In order to prevent this inhuman act from prevailing, parents should be actively involved in their children’s use of the internet. They should not allow their children to communicate with adult strangers over the internet. Through the use of technology, parents can use softwares to block access of social websites on their children computers. This will prevent children from being fed with inappropriate information and more so being lured into meeting potential pedophiles. Strict laws that code for heavy punishment to pedophiles should be fully implemented to discourage the vice of date rape.
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