AUTHORITIES CAN’T QUANTIFY SCOPE OF ONLINE PEDOPHILIA
Nassau and Suffolk police say the case of a Massachusetts teenager allegedly being held against her will and sexually assaulted by people she met online is the most extreme they have seen on Long Island. Statistics haven't been kept to document Internet-related crimes and solicitation because cases go to various units, according to authorities for both counties. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children suggests the following to protect children:
- Don't create online profiles or give out addresses, phone numbers and school names.
- Share e-mail accounts with children to oversee mail.
- Remember that people may lie when describing themselves online.
- Don't allow children to arrange meetings with online users without permission. Make all meetings in public places and accompany children.
- Forward copies of suggestive or obscene messages to your Internet service provider. Most providers have rules for online behavior, so report inappropriate conduct to them.
- Find out if there are ways to block objectionable material.
A recent study commissioned by the NCMEC found that more than one-third of online solicitations where a person tried to meet a minor were undisclosed to parents or authorities. The Youth Internet Safety Survey, conducted nationally by the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, interviewed 1,501 10 to 17 year olds and found that almost 1 in 5 received an unwanted sexual solicitation in the past year.
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