Plenty of adults do not know where or how to report incidents involving child predators or child sexual exploitation. Often, if parents or teachers find out about children who have been sexually solicited or targeted, they do not report the incidents. When adults do report incidents, often they stop short of filing reports with local law enforcement or a national child protection agency. Luckily, there are numerous resources for reporting sex crimes involving children. One of which I want to introduce is the CyberTipline. If you missed an earlier blog about the epidemic of online child sex crimes, you can find it here.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has created a wonderful set of Web sites for parents and teens alike. One the sites is the CyberTipline.
The CyberTipline was started in 1998 by an act of the United States Congress as a means of reporting and perusing cases of child sexual exploitation. Child sexual exploitation involves things such as child pornography, child molestation, child prostitution, child sex tourism, unsolicited obscene material sent to children, and online enticement of children for sex acts. When you report an incident of child sexual exploitation to the CyberTipline, they will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency such as local and state police, the FBI, the US Postal Inspection agency, the US Department of Justice Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and so on. It’s a good idea for you to contact your local law enforcement agency too, as the more reports the better.
Great resources for children and adults
The CyberTipline Web site is a great resource for learning more about how you can help fight child sexual exploitation. The Web site has various links to and information about statistics and federal laws involving children and sexual material. You can find plenty of educational material about keeping your children safe online how to help others avoid the dangers on online sexual predators. There are also links to sites specifically targeted at teenagers such as, “Don’t Believe the Type,” a site that focuses on educating teens about the dangers of the Internet.
Don’t hesitate to report an incident
If you or someone you know wants to report an incident of child sexual exploitation please visit the CyberTipline Web site (www.cybertipline.com) or call their toll-free number, 1-800-843-5678. The CyberTipline is staffed 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
You may have seen the CyberTipline logo (above) branded on flyers, milk cartons, or posters in your town. Please inform others of what the logo stands for and why it is important for others to become involved. If we want to have a chance of protecting at least one more child from online predators, you too will need to be involved. Remember–the next victim of a child predator could be someone you know and love. Stop child predators before it’s too late.