THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOUR CHILD FROM SEX TRAFFICKING:

MONITOR YOUR STUDENT'S ONLINE ACCOUNTS, ACTIVITY, AND FRIENDS.

  • YOU are the parent. Monitor your child’s social media accounts and meet their friends and their parents.
  • Be alert to much older boyfriends and girlfriends that tend to isolate your child from family and friends.
  • NOTICE if your child has new clothing items, makeup products, cell phones, or other items given by other people.
  • Be mindful of the TV shows, movies, games, and music that your child watches.
  • Turn on strict TV program settings and internet filters.

SET A HIGH STANDARD OF “LOVE” WITHIN YOUR HOME.

  • The way you define and express love shapes your child’s self-image, confidence, and opinions of future relationships.
  • Work hard to cultivate an environment of love and acceptance in your home and family.
  • Help them distinguish between real love and empty promises or cheap gifts.
  • Build them up, encourage them, and help them to be confident in who they are.
  • Provide a safe HOME setting where they feel comfortable sharing “happenings” in their lives.
  • Talk to them early and often about the tough topics, including appropriate relationships.
  • LISTEN without judgement.

DISABLE GEOTAGGING ON YOUR SMART DEVICES.

Did you know that every photo you take with your smart device stores a GPS coordinate?

Geotagging comes as a Camera app feature that is available on almost all smartphones. It will add the location where the photos are taken along with data and time stamps and embed it within the photo. This, combined with the ability to share photos online so easily, can result in a huge privacy breach.

HOW TO DISABLE THIS FEATURE:

IPHONE: Open Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Scroll down to Camera and select “Never” or turn off

ANDROID: Open the Camera > Tap on Settings > Scroll down until you see Geo/Location Tags > Disable

WINDOWS: Open Settings > Swipe from the right screen to the left to open Application Settings > Scroll down until you see a settings entry for Photos +Camera > Uncheck “include location info in pictures I take”

ARTICLES AND RESOURCES

KNOW WHERE YOUR CHILD IS GOING AND WHO THEY ARE WITH.

  • NO, we are NOT talking about stranger danger. Despite sensational media coverage, stranger abductions are extremely rare. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, only 115 children per year in the United States are victims of the “stereotypical” kidnapping, where a stranger takes a child to keep or harm them.
  • Has your child ever caught a ride home from school or an event with someone you have never met? Perhaps a friend’s parent or older sibling? BE CAUTIOUS about letting them spend the night with someone (or go over to someone’s home) whose parents you have never met or had very limited interaction with.
  • Many young people first get sexually abused by a family member, relative or family friend. Just because you may know them does not mean it is safe to leave your child alone with them.
  • Malls, movie theaters, bus stops, and parties are common places for traffickers and recruiters to hang out and prey on victims because children are often at these places unaccompanied.