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Internet Safety Month: Tips to Prevent Child Abuse and Sex Trafficking

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The internet can be dark and dangerous. Selah Freedom urges Americans to raise awareness and use tools to prevent sex trafficking & exploitation of our youth.

SARASOTA, FL, UNITED STATES, June 6, 2023/ -- June is recognized nationally as " Internet Safety Month" and with summer right around the corner kids are spending more time online, many unsupervised. The theme for Internet Safety Month 2023 is "Be Cyber Smart” and focuses on the importance of being aware of the risks and dangers of online activity and taking steps to protect yourself and your family.

According to the National Center of Missing and Exploited children (NCMEC), since last year authorities have seen an 82% increase in reports concerning online enticement. The CyberTipline received nearly 32 million reports related to suspected child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Unfortunately, CSAM continues to evolve, often becoming more egregious. Selah Freedom, an anti-Sex Trafficking organization is working together with law enforcement, child protective agencies, schools, business and community groups to constantly fight to protect children and prevent further victimization.

It is difficult to say exactly what percentage of kids are exploited through the internet, as many cases go unreported. However, according to NCMEC, an estimated 1 in 5 children will be solicited for sexual activity online by the age of 18. Additionally, NCMEC reports that over 25% of all child pornography images and videos seized by law enforcement are created by minors themselves.

Internet Safety Month is a great time to review online behavior and learn how youths can stay safer while using the internet. There are lots of good reasons for kids to be online, but risks such as online enticement, sextortion, and sex trafficking recruiting are more prevalent than ever. To help combat these issues, Selah Freedom encourages families and caretakers to use their free, online safety materials and resources available.

The internet has made it easier for traffickers to find and exploit victims. Traffickers can use the internet to:

- Recruit victims. Traffickers can use social media, virtual reality apps, and other online platforms to find potential victims. They may pose as someone they're not, such as a modeling agent or a friend of a friend.

- Control victims. Traffickers can use the internet to track their victims and control their movements. They can use GPS tracking, social media, and other online tools to keep tabs on their victims.

- Sell victims. Traffickers can use the internet to sell victims for sex. They can post ads on websites, or they can use social media to connect with buyers.
The internet has also made it easier for traffickers to get away with their crimes. It can be difficult to track down and prosecute traffickers who operate online.

Here are some tips that will help to raise awareness and help to fight child sex abuse and sex trafficking:

- Be aware of the signs of trafficking. If you see someone who may be a victim of trafficking, such as someone who is being forced to work or who is being controlled by another person, report it to the authorities.

- Support organizations that are working to fight trafficking. There are many organizations that are working to fight trafficking, such as Selah Freedom. You can support their work by donating money, volunteering your time, or spreading awareness about the issue.

- Talk to your children about trafficking. It's important to teach children about trafficking so that they can protect themselves from becoming victims. You can talk to them about the signs of trafficking and what to do if they see something suspicious.

- Take a free online class. Work to get ahead of the issue and help prevent sex trafficking by equipping everyone with the tools to protect themselves from sex trafficking. Selah Freedom offers several ways to connect and get involved. Check out our free, online safety materials and resources available that will help you and your organization through our K-12th grade curriculum and training for adults. Selah Freedom has trained 27,347 youth and adults to stay safe and take action against sex trafficking.

About Selah Freedom
Selah Freedom is an anti-human trafficking non-profit organization 501(c)3. We are based in Florida and the Midwest, with the mission to end sex trafficking and bring freedom to the exploited through five strong programs: Awareness, Prevention, Outreach, Residential, and Consulting.

Andrea Martone
Selah Freedom
+1 917-929-0527
email us here
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Ashley's Journey: First Person Narrative about being sex trafficked