Not Reporting Potential Child Predators is Dangerous

Jun 03, 2011

Tags: , ;

Grooming is a process child predators use to desensitize potential victims and to eventually trick them into meeting in person. Grooming most often begins in a chat room. The predator often poses as someone who can better relate to the person (such as a teenager of the same age). Other times they are honest about their age but instead put on a show of sympathy about the child/teenager.

Net Nanny has a great tool whereby a parent can receive alerts if a child has an instant messaging or chat conversation in which a stranger uses grooming language. In fact, this tool recently helped a mother in New York discover that her teenage daughter was being sexually abused by an online predator. You can read about how Net Nanny helped catch a predator HERE.

Net Nanny provided this mother with incontrovertible proof that her daughter was being abused. Hence, she was quick to contact the police and take aggressive action. But, what if the proof wasn't so incontrovertible? What if, after viewing the Net Nanny alerts, she just had a hunch her daughter was being groomed? Where would she go? Who would she tell? Would the police give her the time of day? This ambivalence, which is common among unsure parents, can be dangerous. The following are two resources you can use to easily and quickly report a potential child predator.

Tool 1: Web Browser Pedophile Reporter Plugin
This web browser plugin can be easily installed in all the popular web browsers on Mac and Windows computers. When installed, it places a small button at the top right of your web browser. When you're on a profile page of the individual you think is grooming your child, you click the button and it sends the webpage to an investigator. It also opens up an email you can put additional information in to send on to the investigator. It is simple enough to use that you could teach your child how to use it, so they can send up an immediate report if they feel grooming is occurring.

Tool 2: The Child Predator CyberTipline
This tool, while not as easy to use as the web browser plugin mentioned above, is backed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It provides a very detailed reporting tool that forwards your tips on to law enforcement.

It is important to remember, that these reporting methods should only be used to report "potential" child predators. If you have any evidence that child grooming is occuring, you need to contact your local law enforcement immediately. If they don't take any action on your report, take it to a higher level and contact your local FBI offices.