Online Grooming: Online Sexual Abuse – How to Protect Your Child

Berlin. It is a terrifying idea for parents that their children can be sexually abused. in the so-called Electronic grooming The perpetrators start contacting minors via the Internet, for example in conversations in online games or in networks such as Tiktok and Instagram. One problem is that many parents are not very familiar with what their children are doing on the Internet.

Electronic grooming is targeted therapy for children on the Internet with the goal of sexual acts bring to. First, the perpetrators are trying to gain the victim’s trust. They give him likes on the posted content, promise gifts, brandish a model career or offer their help.

Expert: The phenomenon of cyber-mass grooming with the increasing number of cases

“During puberty, young people run a lot of thoughts in their minds, and perpetrators take advantage of this by pretending: I understand you, you can talk to me about anything,” explains media coach Ines Schulze, father of the federally funded media project. She advises “Look!”.

Cybercriminologist Thomas Gabriel Rudiger, who researches this topic, talks about “the phenomenon of absolute mass, which has only gotten worse in recent years.” The head of the Institute of Cybercriminology at the Brandenburg Police University postulates that “it is likely that no child on the Internet will grow up who does not encounter such a perpetrator at least once, and this does not mean that he will also become a victim”.



Online sexual assault: scam offenders

It is important for parents to use what is possible Course of action I know. The perpetrators are trying to divert communication from a public place to a private one, for example with messengers like Whatsapp. Examples of online games: The offender plays with the child and pretends to be the same age. “By doing this, he builds a relationship of trust and at some point tempts: if we are a good team, let’s exchange WhatsApp numbers so we can meet again,” explains expert Rüdiger.

According to media coach Schulz’s experiences, “the offenders isolate the child by telling him: What we discuss stays between us, okay?” However, when the texts are exchanged, the child cannot see “whether 13-year-old Tim is cute? A boy, or a 55-year-old man with bad intentions.”

At some point the baby will be moved nude pictures By yourself or to show yourself live in front of the camera. “The offender can even use the recordings to blackmail the child by threatening to publish them on the Internet. Then a vicious cycle begins,” says the teacher.


This is how parents of affected children properly react

How many times children Affected, shows a current survey commissioned by the state media authority in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. According to this, nearly every seventh child between the ages of 8 and 18 (14 percent) was asked to undress an adult in front of a webcam. 16 percent said they got a promise of something in return for a video or photo. Almost a quarter (24 percent) say they’ve been asked by an adult online.

If a child reports an intrusive contact, the parents should Chat log authenticationLike the screenshots, I recommend criminal police counseling centers. In the case of suggestive photos or videos, the advice is to ask the police if they should be secured so as not to expose yourself to prosecution. Parents and children should always know that children can never be blamed if they do this Online harassment Police confirmed.

Cases can also be reported to online platform providers and neutral complaints bodies such as jugendschutz.net and internet-beschwerdestelle.de.

Parents should get an idea of ​​gaming and networking

In order for a child to trust their parents, “a climate must be created in the family in which these things can be discussed,” says media coach Schultz. She advises making it clear to the child that it is not about controlling the Internet. Young people should try their hand at development. But if they are asked to give someone their phone number or send a photo, they should tell them,” the expert explains.


Cybercriminal Rudiger recommends that parents gain experience with Tiktok, Instagram and other networks their children want to use: “Only if they are familiar with it themselves can they talk to the child at eye level and point out potential dangers.”

Parents should also play the online games the child would like to play “for half an hour every day for two weeks to see what you can face. Then they can decide which rules of behavior they agree with the child.”


Online grooming: these offers of help exist

If young people with problems on the Internet do not want to turn to their parents, they can also do other things Offers of help imagined. Trained Scouts of the same age are available for anonymous advice via the platform juuuport.de (initiated by the State Information Service of Lower Saxony).

Affected people can find information and an overview at jugend.support.de Free counseling centers. Parents and others who have concerns about a child can call the Independent Commissioner’s Child Sexual Abuse Helpline: 0800-2255530.

Legal status: Young criminals too

According to the law, anyone who influences a child with the idea of ​​facilitating sexual abuse is already punished. Cybercriminologist Rudiger: “So it just depends on the motive of the offender, and whether the child understands what is happening is not critical to criminal responsibility.” For example, he cites that the offender intended to send or send pictures of the child naked. “Or he’s asking her to masturbate in front of the camera, or he’s aiming for a private meeting in the analog world.”


The suspects, Rudiger says, “are not just adults, although of course there are cases of older men having contact with young girls.” However, nearly half of the suspects are minors themselves and The majority of suspects Altogether less than 30 years old.

For example, online grooming “could already exist legally if, for example, a 14-year-old seeks sexual intentions with a 13-year-old on the Internet.” For this reason, parents should be aware that “the police will initiate investigations if their minor child is suspected of doing online grooming or even exchanging pornographic media with a child,” warns the cybercriminals.

Updated: Monday, 04/11/2022, 05:30

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