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5 Ways to Protect Your Kids From Online Bullying

Prevent online bullying

Prevent online bullyingYour children face challenges that you never had to deal with growing up. A recent tale of cyber bullying involved Audrie Pott, a 15 year old California teenage who committed suicide after pictures of her rape circulated around social networks when her rapists uploaded them. While not all cyber bullying is taken to this kind of extreme, it’s something that is pervasive among adolescents.

According to DoSomething.org, 48% of teens have been the victim of cyber bullying, and 70% of teens have seen an example of cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is a complex problem. Some states, like New Jersey, establish strict anti-bullying laws to cut down on cyber bullying. New Jersey laws, according to the NPR, include a crime-stopper hotline that accepts cyber bully reports from students, a training program to teach students the signs of bullying, and schools are rated on their level of bullying. While state and federal legislature attempts to solve the cyber bullying problem, you have several ways to help on your end.

  1. Educate yourself on the attack methods of cyber bullies. You might not be a texting addict or a Facebook lover, but understanding how students communicate on these services is essential to understanding how a bully can harass your child.
  2. Track behavioral changes in your children. A marked difference in behavior indicates some sort of problem, and may be an early warning sign of cyber bullying.
  3. Watch for anxiety related to answering text messages or getting on social networks. If your children is being harassed through these sites, they might be afraid to log in and check their messages.
  4. Talk to your child to see if they will tell you about any potential bullying activity. If possible, friend their social network accounts or have access to the accounts so you can find out what your child is doing online.
  5. If your children don’t want to talk to you about their online activities, using an Internet monitoring solution may be necessary. These types of software often allow you to lock down Internet usage, blocking sites and monitoring exactly what’s going on when your child uses the Internet.

Another issue with cyberbullying that many parents don’t consider is the potential for identity theft. When a student is getting cyber bullied, he may give out personal information, usernames, and passwords that could lead to his identity information being compromised. Identity theft has many repercussions according to Equifax. Your child may have credit cards taken out in their name, or have the cards sent elsewhere so they never even know they exist. This could greatly affect their credit rating. A service like Lifelock.com monitors this information and provides security measures to stop identity theft from happening.

The internet is a powerful tool, but it is also a powerful weapon in the hands of cyber bullies. While you can’t prevent your child from encountering it entirely, you do have the power to mitigate the damage that it can cause.

Wake Up People, Protect Our Children!

Wake Up America – We Must Protect Children!

By: Stephanie L. Mann

Child abuse used to be a silent epidemic that was seldom discussed. However, the national news media has increased awareness about the abuse of children. We have heard horror stories about sexual assaults by priests, sex traffickers and; how predators with community status have been ignored for years. That is now changing!

The tragic truth is, there are 76,000 registered sex offenders in California alone. Sadly, children are sexually assaulted at home and in their neighborhoods every day. These children grow up and become parents. Often, the cycle of abuse continues because we don’t speak up to stop it. Americans are paying a high price for their silence.

When children feel powerless, violated and/or unloved, they act out in self-destructive ways. They may turn to drugs, sex, food, cutting or bullying their classmate. They can become easily intimidated and become a victim or join a gang to feel powerful! It is estimated that 80 percent of prison inmates were abused as children.

SPEAK UP TO PROTECT CHILDREN!

During the past year, 3 out of 5 children were exposed to violence at home or in their neighborhoods. It is up to each one of us to stop this epidemic of child abuse. If YOU don’t speak up, you are allowing an abusive adult and/or predator to continue abusing children.

10 things you can do to help stop child abuse.

1. Watch toddlers at play. A child tries to dominate by shoving playmates and crying for a toy. This is normal, childish behavior. Adults must correct children so they mature properly and learn to respect others. Don’t ignore aggressive behavior! Children can become bullies and abuse each other in a variety of ways.

2. STAY ALERT! Don’t let anyone hit, slap or verbally abuse a child. Children need protection, attention and encouragement. Adults are role models. Discipline children by taking way privileges but don’t back down or you will teach a child how to manipulate YOU.

3. Peace starts at home! Make a family rule… we treat each other with respect. Bully/victim behavior is learned at home. (25 percent of women and 10 percent of men are in abusive relationship) Verbal, sexual or physical abuse teaches children to be victims and/or bullies.

4. Don’t be your child’s best friend! Undisciplined children become angry when they don’t have the skills to develop positive friends. They may bully or become targets of abuse because they don’t know how to develop healthy relationships.

5. Discuss family problems together and allow everyone to have a voice. Children mature and grow strong when they are heard and help solve conflicts, peacefully.

6. Discipline, rules, love, attention and support give children self-confidence. If bullied, a child who feels loved will know they are NOT the problem. Self-worth gives children the inner power to stand up to bullies, walk away and report bad behavior.

7. Self-discipline keeps children safe. For example: If I pick a fight with you and you fight back, I am in control. If I pick a fight with you and you walk away, you are in control. Children can develop courage and character by speaking up and standing up to bullies.

8. Does your school have an “anti-bully” policy? Do neighbors work together to stop bullies on the block? Don’t ignore any abusive or destructive behavior! Work with neighbors or bullies can form gangs and make your neighborhood less safe.

9. BE AN ADVOCATE and get involved! CNN Special, “Bullying: It stops here!” stated, “Social Combat: the new norm for youth.” We must all speak up to stop bad behavior.

10. Start a movement to help create a safer environment in your school and/or in your neighborhood. Ask friends to join you. It takes involved citizens to create safe, healthy environments for children.

Americans must work together and speak up to protect children from all forms of abuse. When we stop tolerating abuse, we are protecting our future.

Mann is a safety consultant and author of 4 national self-help books. She has a radio show called, Build Community.us on More Public Radio International – To improve the health and safety of children, she promotes strengthening families and community involvement.

Her books include, “Alternative to Fear,” “Safe Homes, Safe Neighborhoods,” “Street Safe Kids” and “The Adopt-A-Block Guidebook.”

For more information:
http://www.safekidsnow.com

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Interview With Crime Net Weekly

crime net weekly

Special Feature Interview:

Single mother makes a stand against pedophiles and child pornography – “I believe all pedophiles are incurable and I know if they are not put away our children will be harmed.”

In March of this year single mother Debbie Johnson (not her real surname) made the news after she played an integral part in the FBI’s arrest of a man on suspicion of possessing child pornography. Debbie heads an advocacy group from her home in New York that is trying to get child pornography off the Internet. Debbie went “undercover” into the seedy world of online pedophiles to trap her victim. After convincing the suspect that she was the owner of a child-porn site, he contacted her to buy a membership. He then told Debbie of a site he operated on the net and asked her to join.

After finding a large amount of child pornography posted on his site, including photographs of children in sexual acts with adults, Debbie contacted authorities in the man’s home state of Illinois. Debbie was able to provide the police with the man’s name, address and phone number. When local deputies raided the man’s house, he was on the computer talking to Debbie. State’s Attorney William Poncin called the images found in the home “explicit and graphic.” The man, Joseph R. Griffith, was charged with one count of possession of child pornography with the intent to distribute and one count of possession of child pornography. Debbie’s attempt at passing herself as another pedophile was so convincing that Griffith, with seemingly deep pride, told her that if he wanted to see a photograph of him she could do so by visiting the Illinois State sex-offenders site. Griffith had also been charged previously in Nebraska with attempted first-degree forcible sexual assault. This might have been Debbie’s first official bust, but it wasn’t a one off fluke. Over the past five years she has reported more than 7000 online pedophiles and child pornography sites to the authorities.

CrimeNet spoke with Debbie from her home in the US: How did the FBI and other law enforcement agents react to the information you passed on regarding Joseph Griffith? They were rapt! They thought it was excellent, it got another one of our streets.

The vast majority of the public abhor pedophilia and child pornography, but very few would take the action you took and pose as one yourself to trap the offender. What was your motivation? My two children were sexually abused at a day care centre. My daughter was only 2-years-old at the time. It totally and utterly devastated me. I never want another child to have to experience that. So I am a vigilante- Debbie lost her daughter in a car accident when she was aged 9.Griffith was talking to you as if you were another pedophile, I imagine the content of some of the conversations were very disturbing. How did you manage to handle this side of your operation? Yes, his conversations were very gross, disgusting in fact. On some occasions we were messaging until 4 am. I had to sit and listen (read) to all his sick conversations. But the driving force that got me through was the fact that I knew I had to get him off the streets. He also gave me all his personal details, which helped the authorities to track him down and arrest him. How long did the messaging and contact last with Griffiths? A few weeks. By then I had all the information I needed. I then called the probation department. They were very happy to hear from me, to say the least. What is your long term plan? Do you intend to continue hunting online pedophiles and those who deal in child pornography? I will continue to hunt pedophiles until I can’t breathe. I am very serious about that. I will continue to work with the FBI and other authorities for as long as they are happy for me to do so. Have you received any threats or at any time feared for your safety? Oh yes, I do fear for my safety, of course I do. I have received threats, but my fear will not stop me. Pedophiles are sick people and the underground child pornography business makes them allot of money, so they do not take kindly to what I do. How many of these online child pornography groups and sites have you worked your way into? I am in about 300 groups like this currently and that is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s from one of these groups I initially made contact with Griffiths.

That number is staggering! Are you close to having enough details on any others to hand over to the authorities? Yes, I think so. Actually I am pretty sure about one, but am working on a whole group of them right now. I can’t give up. These people on the net are the same people that are out in our real world raping our children. These people don’t JUST look at pictures on child pornography sites, they go after children. Young, innocent children – I can’t let that happen. I won’t let that happen.

Can you please tell me about your advocacy group? Sure. I have people from all over the US and from several countries, both men and women. I try to train them in what I do. They need to know the rules and laws and how to “act” when conversing with pedophiles. Unfortunately, but understandably, most people are unable to engage in these often very disturbing conversations that are required to infiltrate their circle and gain their confidence. I do it as a tribute to my deceased daughter. I believe all pedophiles are incurable and I know if they are not put away our children will be harmed.

SOURCE: Crime Net
URL: www.crimenet.com.au

Protecting Children From Sexual Predators – Some Useful Parenting Tips to End Childhood Sexual Abuse

warning signs of abuse

Protecting Children From Sexual Predators – Some Useful Parenting Tips to End Childhood Sexual Abuse

By Cindy L. Herb

Every day, we hear more reports of child abduction and/or sexual abuse by sexual predators. These predators can be strangers. However, as statistics below show, most times your children will know the perpetrators of such harmful crimes. What are some useful parenting tips to end childhood sexual abuse, protecting children from both known and unknown sexual predators?

National Statistics

RAINN (the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network) provides the following statistics. However, since childhood sexual abuse is often hidden and it is generally estimated that approximately 88% of sexual abuse cases are never reported, national statistics can vary broadly. Therefore, it is likely the crime is more extensive than these figures reflect.

  • 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have been sexually abused in their lifetimes in the United States
  • 44% of sexual abuse victims are under the age of 18
  • 93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker
  • Childhood sexual abuse occurs everywhere, regardless of social, economic or ethnic backgrounds

In addition, domestic violence accounts for a great amount of sexual abuse, even among children, as many domestic violence perpetrators also abuse children in the household. The strongest risk factor for the same violent behavior occurs in homes where children witness violence with and among their caregivers. In fact, boys who observe or who may be forced to participate in domestic violence, including inappropriate sexual behavior, are twice as likely to abuse both their partners and their own children when they have reached adulthood.

warning signs of abuseCost to Society

Whether you have children or not, the problem affects everyone, as the Center for Sex Offender Management estimates that 30% to 60% of children sexually abused as children later become adult sex offenders. Furthermore, there is a definitive economic impact on society, most notably a loss of health due to the physical and emotional distress of such crimes. As victims reach adulthood, those untreated problems are further exacerbated by loss of work. Even incarceration of sentenced sex offenders attributes to a strain on the prison system and loss of revenue. Currently in the United States, almost 8 million paid workdays and 5.6 million days of household productivity are lost per year due to such destructive crimes, equivalent to 32,000 full-time jobs. The cost for loss of health, work and imprisonment translates to annual lost revenues of approximately $5.8 billion.

Look for Signs of Abuse

Many people ignore the signs of childhood sexual and physical abuse. It is important to investigate further if your child displays any of the following:

  1. Change in Behavior and Health
  2. Those children who fall victim to sexual perpetrators may exhibit poor physical and mental health. They could also begin having social difficulties. Furthermore, cognitive dysfunction and behavioral problems may suddenly manifest.
  3. Keeping Secrets
  4. Sexual predators do not want to be caught. They will instruct the child to keep the ‘secret’ about any inappropriate behavior. Sexual perpetrators rely on the fact that children ‘do as they are told’ by someone older. In addition, although most people think that only adults are sexual and/or physical abusers, as the vicious cycle of abuse continues more people under the age of 18 become abusers themselves. Therefore, be cognizant of any secrets you discover being kept from you from ANYONE older than your child’s age.
  5. Withdrawing from Other Friends – Spending Time with Someone Older Than Your Child
  6. Children can become confused about their bodies if they are violated inappropriately. The sexual acts performed can be pleasurable and many times sexual predators will tell your child that their sexual escapades are not wrong. Therefore, your child, although they may feel guilty about what is happening, may incorrectly believe that what they are doing is not improper since it feels good. Beware if you notice your child has withdrawn from others, wishing to spend alone time with another older person.
  7. Receiving Unexplained Gifts from Others
  8. Inappropriate sexual behavior is about control, not sex. This is one reason children are such easy targets. Sexual predators will often give gifts to your child as another way to reinforce their control over them. Always ask and investigate any unexplained gifts to your child.
  9. Discovery of Spending Time Alone with Older Person in Isolated or Unique Locations
  10. Sexual predators love to isolate their victims. They oftentimes will set up ‘special meeting’ places, away from suspicious eyes. Therefore, if you discover your child is spending time alone with someone older in any isolated or unique location, it is wise to probe further.

Ways to Protect Your Child

    1. Trust Your Instincts

Sexual predators choose their crime victims based upon availability. Therefore, it makes sense that most victims personally know their perpetrators since they may be already easily acquainted with them in their circle of family, friends and community.
Therefore, dealing with sexual abuse with someone your child may know could present additional challenges. First, the chances you will know your child’s sexual predator is very high. Be open to this fact. No matter how much you may trust your spouse, your family, your friends, and members of your community, such as teachers, counselors and spiritual support, do not ignore any of the above signs of abuse.
Furthermore, oftentimes a parent’s instincts will alert them to a problem, but they ignore it because they already know the person. We think sexual predators look like monsters. However, they look like everyone else. Never ignore your instincts. It is better to be safe than sorry.

    1. Communicate Early and Often

Open a line of communication about inappropriate sexual behavior early. Establish trust with your child so that they will feel free to share anything with you. Teach your child:

      • Reinforce ‘Stranger Danger’ Rules

Many schools provide education on staying away from strangers. However, please reinforce those warnings and advice. Tell your children to stay away from strangers, do not get into their car and do not offer assistant to lone strangers, etc. If addition, travel with buddies when possible.

      • Saying ‘No’ is OK

Children are taught to do as they are told and respect adults. However, be sure they are aware that it is OK to say no when they feel uncomfortable, regardless of whom they are confronting.

      • Some Secrets are Bad

Instruct your child between the difference between harmless secrets shared with friends and inappropriate ones. Anything having to do with sexual behavior or physical abuse in any way needs to be shared with a child’s parent.

      • Communicate Differences Between Different Types of Touch

Touching is a wonderful part of life. However, it is most beneficial to educate your children about the differences between different types of touching with regard to discerning the differences between ‘real love’ and ‘fake love.’ For instance, if another person speaks of love as allowing your child access to put their hands down inside your child’s clothing in those areas normally covered by a bathing suit, there may be some cause for concern and evaluation. In addition, you do not want your child afraid of your doctor who may need to explore these areas. Therefore, relating touching to ‘real love’ and ‘fake love’ may help with trips to the doctor since he normally does not relate touching to love. Regardless, reiterate that sexual touching done ALONE with an older person needs to be thwarted. The best suggestion is to open the lines of communication and education. It may also be beneficial to accompany your child to the doctor.

      • Warn of Sexual Predators on the Internet

The internet, although a valuable source of education and information, can also be very dangerous. Be vigilant about knowing to whom your child may be communicating. Instruct them never to give out personal information online and to report to you anyone discussing keeping ‘secrets’ or talking about ‘private’ areas of the body.

    1. Teach Your Children to Trust Their Instincts

Although there are numerous programs and parents who utilize the above tactics, there still is an overwhelming incidence of childhood sexual and physical abuse. What is lacking? If you teach children to listen to their own gut in any situation, harm can be averted. Instruct your child to listen and act on the spirit that is within them guiding them to a constructive path. If their intuition makes them uncomfortable with a certain situation, teach them to run away and get help.

    1. Listen to Your Child

Finally, please listen to your child no matter how outrageous you may feel about their story. Once you have told your child to tell you their ‘secrets’ and to share whatever they are feeling and then you discount their story, you simply destroy trust. Take everything they say as truth, no matter the other person involved. Investigate further anything they tell you. After all, as a parent, it is your job to protect your child, not another adult. Listening to your child could stop harm.

Sexual predators destroy lives. However, if we all implement these useful parenting tips, childhood sexual abuse could end. Our children and society can be protected more successfully from known and unknown sexual predators. Is it not worth a try?

Copyright Statement:
This article was written by Cindy L. Herb and may be reproduced on any related website provided the text is not changed in any form and this copyright statement is displayed unedited in its entirety at the foot of the article and you use the exact same HTML code to ensure a clickable link back to the author’s site. Further articles are also available. Contact the author for more information. Copyright 2009-2011 Cindy L. Herb, http://joyfulsurvivor.com. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

About the Author:
Cindy L. Herb, author of Awakening the Spirit: The Open Wide Like a Floozy Chronicles, specializes in emotional healing, helping others overcome adversity and find joy. As The Joyful Survivor, Cindy offers others an alternative approach to healing from any trauma, through a simple, proven process. To get FREE help, please visit the author’s website.

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Interview with Montel

interview with montel williams

This is a clip from my interview on the Montel Williams Show. Jan. 9, 2004, “For The Life Of A Child”

The founder of KNP appeared on the Montel Williams show, the topic was “For the Life of a Child”.