Child Sexual Abuse Can Occur Online or Through a Smartphone
In today’s world, an overwhelming number of teenagers have personal cell phones or smartphones, and it’s even common for much younger children to have phones or tablets of their own.
Children have online access at home, at school, and on the go—and it’s incredibly difficult for parents to monitor every second their children spend typing, texting, searching, and communicating online. However, child sexual abusers have used the advances in technology to get closer to potential victims, and every parent should be aware of the risks. Here are some of the most common forms of sexual abuse that happen through the technology we all depend on:
- “Sexting” or engaging in sexual roleplaying with a child or teen over the phone
- Sending messages of an inappropriate sexual nature through social media, instant messengers, and other online forums
- Engaging in sexual behavior on a webcam or live-streaming service while a child watches
- Asking a child to undress or engage in sexual behavior on camera
- Asking a child for sexual photographs or sending sexual photographs to a child
- Sending inappropriate links or encouraging a child to look at online pornography sites, photographs, or videos
- Purchasing gifts for the child through online “wish lists” in exchange for sexual behavior
- Making sexual comments about a child’s photographs that are posted online
While good supervision and use of parental controls can help limit a child’s risk when using the phone or accessing the Internet, it’s difficult to monitor everything or know what to do if you suspect there is a problem. If you have questions about potential child sexual abuse, take steps to start getting answers today by reaching out to our office at 312-332-1400 or using the live chat service on this page.