The development of the Internet brings many opportunities of self-development and search for information but it also contains threats to our children. Unchecked or fake information, threat to visit a webpage of suicidal character, fraud, cyber bullying are only a part of dangers that children may stumble across online.
Sometimes it is hard to believe but child sexual abuse is one of the problems too.
According to the survey “Child sexual abuse and sexual expoitation on the Internet in Ukraine” conducted by the International Charity Organization “Child Rescue Service”, approximately every fourth child in Ukraine got a question about his/her private parts or was asked to sent his/her nude photos. The survey encompassed 4700 children at the age of 6-17 from all over Ukraine.
Unfortunately, the results of the survey are truly shocking! Approximately 25% of children experienced at least one of situations of sexual abuse or sexual exploitation for the last year! That is, “online friends” of one quarter of children asked them to send their nude photos, raised intimate questions, sent their own private photos and suggested meetings to show themselves naked. It appears that 45% of children have hushed up this situation and have not discussed it with anyone. At the same time 78% of those who had decided to tell about it chose friends but not parents. It indicates the low level of trust on the part of children toward their parents. Children often reject the very idea of reaching out to their family in unusual and dangerous situations.
Parents should be more attentive to their children as today 90% of them spend 3-5 hours on the Internet daily. It may be dangerous with whom they communicate and make acquaintances. Parents should explain to their child that an “online friend” may turn out to be a different person and that intimate photos should not be sent on the Internet and that a child should not agree to meet an online stranger offline under any circumstances.