By District Attorney Summer Stephan
The pandemic has shifted life for everyone over the last year, but perhaps one of the most vulnerable groups include children, who are spending more time than ever online. Through everyday scrolling, online gaming and Zoom learning, predators have unprecedented access to kids. With the so much dependence on technology and the web, children are increasingly at risk of befriending strangers online.
Pre-pandemic, we have been able to count on educators to act as law enforcement’s eyes and ears, noticing some of the signs that a student is being abused at home or sexually exploited by a trafficker. Now that children are stuck mostly at home, here are tips on why we should worry about unlimited web access and what to look for as a red flag.
Why we should worry:
Red flags that should be taken seriously include:
What can parents and guardians do to keep their children safe?
As we mark Human Trafficking Awareness Month, I want parents and guardians to know they are on the frontlines when it comes to child abuse and exploitation. It’s up to the adults to help children understand the risks they may face and make them feel comfortable reporting victimization or abuse.
As your District Attorney, I’m committed to increasing communication and accessibility between the DA’s Office and the public. I hope these consumer and public safety tips have been helpful.