Protect your family against trafficking at home

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Tracey Hale, Chief of Intelligence
  • 137 ARW/OGI
Law enforcement  is discovering that the Internet is not only used by traffickers to market children for sex, through venues such as private chat rooms, but traffickers are also using the MySpace and Facebook to lure kids by posing as friends.

Through a process called "grooming", traffickers work to gain children's trust for up to one year, until they can get them to come and meet in person.  Then the trafficker initiates them into the world of drugs, pornography and commercial sex.

Consider the following tips in regards to internet safety:

1. If you become aware of the transmission, use or viewing of child pornography while online report it to your local or state law enforcement agency, the FBI, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  you may also notify your online service.

2. Consider keeping the computer in a common area of the house instead of a child's bedroom for easy monitoring.

3. Encourage your child to tell you if they receive any information that causes them to feel uncomfortable.

4. Do not allow children to arrange a face to face meeting with someone they met online independently.  If a meeting is arranged, arrange to be in public and accompany your child.

5. Spend quality time with your children.  Computers should not be used as babysitters.

6. Encourage your children not to respond to messages that are obscene, belligerent, threatening, or which makes them feel uncomfortable.

7. Communicate with your children about sexual victimization and potential on-line danger.

From Oklahoman's Against Trafficking Humans