How to say no to sexual cyberbullying of children and adolescents | NewsNet

Grooming is the intentional act of an adult, male or female, to sexually harass a girl, boy or adolescent through a digital medium that allows interaction between two or more people, such as social networks, email, text messages, chat sites or online games.

This is a process that can last weeks or even months and takes place in several phases. In the first phase, the adult tries to gain the child’s trust, sometimes even pretending to be another child. In this way, the adult initiates a relationship of trust with the child, which eventually establishes an emotional bond with him. From there, the adult tries to get personal data about the child’s life, as well as contact information. Once the “friendly” relationship is established, the adult manipulates the child until he gets the minor to do something he knows could be disapproved by his parents or the rest of his circle, such as sending a nude photo. In the final phase, the adult blackmails the child and threatens to distribute the photo in order to make the child submit more and more to his wishes, send more photos or record himself performing more and more explicit sexual acts. Harassment may even culminate in an attempt to physically meet the minor.

The negative consequences for the minor are obvious. Stress, shame, guilt, anxiety, depression, and of course fear can occur in grooming victims, whose age also makes them very vulnerable victims.

And these days, the issue is taking root in society, causing a marked interest in the two sessions to raise awareness about this crime, which were presented by representatives of the non-governmental organization Grooming under the organization of the Ministry of Security and Justice of Rio Negro, Police Headquarters of Rio Negro and Municipality of Patagones.

In this sense, the family police station in Viedma took a very active part. He tried to explain to those present the need for responsible management of social networks.

Local perspectives on coverage

During the exhibitions both in Patagonia and in schools in Viedma, it became clear that in times of pandemic the issue of digitization is much more popularized in the field of work and education and thus the risk of this crime has also increased.

During the clarification sessions, it also became clear that the problem was not the Internet. “It is not our intention to put the internet aside, it is a great resource, but what one needs to know is what risk can be found and what to do if you find those risks,” they said.

Both the NGO and the Rio Negro police structures that participated in these workshops insisted on the importance of public awareness of this phenomenon.

The need to consider what preventive tools children and adolescents have when they can surf the Internet, to know that they should not provide personal data, to preserve the privacy that applications have, to know what to do in an uncomfortable situation and above all to make the world of adults aware of the importance of being able to accompany children and adolescents.

During the conference, it was said that parents rarely ask their children how they have done on social media, as if it is a safe environment and away from dangers.

As part of the general work that is carried out throughout the year, the Women’s Police Department indicated that the reception by the boys and girls in the schools and in the various spaces where they go is very good.

Meeting with Teleria

Police chief Osvaldo Teleria received the leaders of the non-governmental organization Grooming Argentina. During the meeting, they analyzed the problem in the Viedma-Patagones region and the police officer highlighted the joint work carried out between the Rio Negro police and the aforementioned NGO.

They also committed to continue this line of work to optimize prevention and approaches to grooming situations that allow children and adolescents to acquire tools to avoid being victims of this crime.

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