Sex-related crimes, particularly those involving children, are very upsetting. When you hear news about kids being abused by the very people who should have protected them, you wonder why there’s such madness in the world. When you hear television reports about how minors commit sex crimes against children their age or even younger, you are surprised, upset and revolted by such atrocious acts. If you are a parent, these kinds of stories will make you fear for your precious children. You want to shield them from these terrible things, but it can be hard, especially today when it’s all about convenience, communication, and being connected.
Modern Practices and Their Link to Sexual Abuse
Today, kids seem to mature faster than a decade ago. You see young girls, some barely even ten years old, worrying about what they’re wearing or fretting about whether or not their lip gloss is just the right tint. Young boys, on the other hand, sometimes agonize about how they look. But generally, girls mature faster than boys.
1. The Media
Many people blame the media for influencing children to mature more quickly. It’s because youngsters often idolize the characters that they see in print media, television or movies, and they imitate how their idols dress and act, which might not conform to their age.
2. The Internet and Modern Gadgets
Today, kids can already use computers, cellular phones, and other modern devices even before they properly learn their ABCs. Youngsters, especially adolescents, also deem it essential to “be connected” using social networking sites. They post their status on Facebook and tweet about their daily activities. Lots of teenagers also have their own websites, and they bring their iPhones or tablets wherever they go.
3. Detrimental Effects
Modern practices have positive and negative effects on the youth. Since children look more mature, sex offenders might detect them more easily. Still, these people have specific criteria when choosing their victims. It might be the color of a child’s hair or the way a youngster acts. But most of the time, it’s about opportunity. If a sex offender finds an opportunity to abuse, then he will.
As for modern conveniences, these actually help a sex offender to find his victims. Today, he can just go to popular chat rooms, check out websites or Facebook pages, and then start to connect with his target. He builds an online relationship with the youngster that he is targeting, and he will slowly gain that kid’s trust. Once there is trust, it will be easier for the offender to convince the minor to meet with him. This is dangerous, and a child who does not know any better can easily get herself kidnapped, for instance.
4. Protecting Your Child
It is staggering that there are lots of kids who are abused by people they know. Therefore, don’t just trust anyone with your children. Here are also some warning signs of sexual abuse.
– The child isolates herself or himself.
– The child refuses to play with other kids.
– The child spends a considerable amount of time with a certain adult.
– The child is afraid, jumpy, and may be uncommunicative.
– The child receives expensive gifts even though there are no special occasions. The child won’t say who the gifts are from.
– The child might express her (or his) fears in weird drawings, or she might play with her dolls in strange ways.
Elliot Savitz is a criminal defense attorney based in Massachusetts. He is an expert in defending those who have been charged with criminal offenses. For more details, visit elliotsavitz.com to learn more about his services.