It is a parent’s primary job to take care of their kids. It doesn’t only mean that they have to be protected from physical harm but also psychological and sexual harm. Pedophilia is the worst crime to exist and it puts the very innocence of our young ones at stake. Researchers have found that pedophiles take as little as 120 seconds in chat rooms to start talking to kids about sex and arrange a meeting with them in as little as 40 minutes.
What is a Pedophile?
According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) pedophilia refers to an individual harboring sexual fantasies as well as impulsive desires towards children that last a minimum of six months. This person can be a man, a woman of any age as well as a teenager. The minimum age of a pedophile is sixteen years and any individual who is at least five years older than a child.
Sexual Predator: Not a Senile Old Man
The grave mistake that most people make is assuming that pedophiles are old senile men dressed in a scary manner, hiding somewhere in the dark waiting for your kids to emerge so that they can harass them. Recent shows such as To Catch a Predator have made it evident that pedophiles aren’t who you believe. They aren’t always easy to identify. It can be anyone from a trusted neighbor, a babysitter and even close family members.
The image people have of pedophiles is quickly changing as this topic has become the main focus of many television shows that create awareness in the minds of parents who easily trust their kids with just about anyone. The internet is a place that has made a lot possible in our world. You can reach someone who is sitting in the other corner of the world within seconds. But this has brought with itself a lot of threats as well.
Children’s Safety Online: Social Media Tracking
Young adults in our societies feel the need to compulsively put their whole lives into apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and most importantly on Snapchat. This makes them an easy target since these apps give away their locations if used incorrectly.
“In the absence of a global tracking system to effectively track pedophiles and checkmate their activities, the door will continue to remain open to these group of people who sneak into Facebook, connect with us on Twitter and show the world how they violated and infected our children on YouTube.”
Protecting Children Online: What Can You Do?
In order to tackle this problem, a parent needs to have an open line of communication with their children so that they can be warned of such people because this is the only way it works. If you are a Millennial yourself, you must know that parental controls on computers and mobile phones don’t really work as well as parents would want them to.
The Right Way to Tackle Pedophiles: From Your Own Home
Professor Nuria Lorenzo-Dus, who teaches at Swansea University claims that it is rather unrealistic to assume as a parent, to be able to limit your child’s online activity. But what you can do as a parent is making your child realize how pedophiles groom kids for themselves online. Once they have a basic understanding of how kids get lured in, it will be safer for them to use the internet without the threat of a pedophile harming them.
“While this may be emotionally hard for adults, whether as parents, caregivers or professionals devoted to children’s well-being, it is paramount that they are informed so they can recognize the signs.”
Professor Nuria Lorenzo-Dus, Swansea University
What makes online pedophiles so dangerous is the fact that they have complete patience in their hunt of youngsters. They scan a variety of platforms to search for a potential target. This makes teenagers very susceptible to their attacks since these pedophiles sound sincere, kind and understanding which is something youngsters crave from their parents at this age but mostly don’t get. To have an honest and understanding relationship with your child would be the biggest barrier between your kids and these predators.