April 21, 2022

Alert! Parents and grandparents, protect their innocence!


Social media platforms are fertile grounds for various kinds of online abuse and harassment including cyberbullying, sextortion and revenge pornography. In the pandemic age of increased connection via the internet, children are placed at even greater risk of victimization. It's critical we're all aware of the risks faced by children online.

As April marks both Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month, it is timely to note some staggering statistics:
Sexual Assault:
  • Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted 

  • The majority of sexual assault victims are under the age of 30; ages 12-34 are at highest risk of rape and sexual assault (RAINN)

Further, sexual violence can have long term effects including, but not limited to:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Increased risk of suicide

  • Moderate to severe distress

  • Substance abuse issues

Child Sexual Abuse:
Child sexual abuse can occur anywhere including a home, school or church setting or online. Child sex abuse material (CSAM) is the recording of sexual abuse/exploitation of a minor via videos and images. It is always illegal to produce, distribute or possess CSAM. This content both feeds and fuels the sexual appetite of pedophiles and predators and creates demand for new images and new victims.
  • One in 10 children will be the victim of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday (Darkness to Light)

  • An estimated 42 million adult survivors of sexual abuse are living in the United States today (Darkness to Light)

  • In 2021, 29.3 million reports of child sexual abuse online were made to the CyberTipline at the National Center on Missing & Exploited Children, marking the highest number of reports ever received in one year.

  • 78% of images and videos analyzed of online child sexual exploitation depicted children under 12 years old, and 63% of those children were younger than eight years old. (Canadian Centre for Child Protection)

  • There has been a 97.5% increase in online enticement reports in 2020 compared to 2019 -- includes sextortion, in which a child is being groomed to take sexually explicit images and/or ultimately meet face-to-face with someone for sexual purposes, or to engage in a sexual conversation online or, in some instances, to sell/trade the child’s sexual images (NCMEC, May 2021).  

Much like sexual violence, long term effects of child sex abuse can include:

  • emotional/mental health issues

  • obesity/eating disorders

  • academic issues

  • over-sexualized behaviors

How can you protect your child?
  • Look for signs of grooming (the process by which a predator befriends and gains the trust of a child -- and sometimes the child’s friends and family-- in order to take advantage of the child for sexual purposes) and red flag behaviors (develops trust/secrecy, gift giving, job offers, filling desires of love, romance, friendship). See more on grooming here.

  • Keep the lines of communication open with your child about his/her online experience so your child feels safe coming to you if/when needed. Here are some suggested conversation starters.

  • Report any suspicious or illegal activity. If you believe your child is at immediate risk to online abuse or abduction, contact your local law enforcement immediately.

  • For more help on all internet-related threats, visit internetsafety101.org

Protecting the innocence of children is something in which we can all take a part. Won't you consider making a special gift to Enough Is Enough® as we fight to make the internet safer for children and families everywhere?

Thank you for fighting with us!

P.S. - Please be sure to visit our Recovery, Victim and Survivor Resources for more information or support!