From Instant Message to Instant Nightmare

From Instant Message to Instant Nightmare

Sex Traffickers Have Online Access. Don’t Let Them Access and Recruit Your Kids.

Victims of human trafficking include children, women and men who are subjected to sexual exploitation or forced labor through force, fraud or coercion. According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, there are 27 million people enslaved worldwide. Sadly, this horrific crime is happening right here in Florida. In 2011, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center ranked Florida third in the number of calls received by the center’s human trafficking hotline.

Attorney General Pam Bondi is dedicated to making Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking, and she asks you, parents, to help protect your children. Human traffickers recruit victims using various means, including the Internet and social media, and they prey on children who are vulnerable and seeking love and approval. Human traffickers have online access, and you can take steps to prevent them from accessing your children. Attorney General Bondi has launched a statewide campaign, beginning with billboards, mall displays and bus shelters throughout Florida, that asks parents and children to get involved by downloading this tip sheet and pledge.

Tips for Parents:

  • Talk to your children about sex trafficking and sexual abuse. Describe human trafficking as modern-day slavery, where people are captured and treated inhumanely. Awareness is the first step in preventing it;
  • Restrict use of the computer to the living room or other area of the house where other family members are present;
  • Know your child’s screen names and passwords, even if you have your child write them down and put them in a sealed envelope. If anything happens, you will be able to access your child’s accounts to trace who he or she has been communicating with;
  • Use the parental control settings on your computer to check the Internet history.Look for warning signs in your children, such as: mood swings and anxiety; new friends who are significantly older; and new gifts, pre-paid credit cards, clothes or cell phones that you did not purchase; and
  • Let your children know that they can talk to you, or a trusted adult, about anything that makes them uncomfortable.

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