Our lives are largely online now, and so are our children’s – and their innocence is being exploited by unscrupulous characters online. CyberTipline, a segment of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), is an online initiative that takes reports from the public about concerning, horrible, and perverted behavior on the internet. CyberTipline has been receiving millions of reports per year, each year with more reports than the last. One type of report that they've been studying intently are online enticement of children cases.
This course’s resource speaker is Stacy Jeleniewski, the Senior Research Specialist in the Case Analysis Division at NCMEC. She conducts in-depth analytical projects across the organization to determine the patterns and trends in reports based on cases referred to NCMEC and CyberTipline.
Stacy zeroes-in on cases of online enticement of children, unpacking its characteristics, strategies offenders employ, and prevention. She details points on:
- What the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is, it’s history, objective and mission.
- The CyberTipline initiative, the number of reports it’s been receiving since 2010, and an overview of the type of reports they receive.
- Online enticement reports data that they analyzed and the methodology for the study.
The findings they acquired from the analysis of online enticement reports including:
- The children’s demographics, the number of children involved and the presence of vulnerabilities such as history of abuse and mental or developmental disorders.
- The offender’s gender, age, and familiarity of the children to the offender.
- The common reporters of cases to CyberTipline.
The two incident types of online enticement:
- Direct communication between the child and the offender, how it can either be initiated by either the offender or the child, and samples of reports showing how direct communication happens.
- Child as a third party in the enticement where multiple offenders are communicating to access content featuring children, or there is a parent/guardian or someone with access to such content offering it to other people.
- The offender’s goals in partaking in online enticement of children, statistics that illustrate the success rate in achieving their goal, and factors that affect the success rate.
- The methods employed by the offenders to get access to the children, the places where these happen and report examples of the methods.
- The aftermath of cases that illustrate the children’s and the offender’s behaviors when parents or authorities become aware of what’s happening.
- The case outcomes and elements that influence the outcomes.
- The implications of the knowledge gathered from the analysis that stresses the need for knowledge sharing and evidence-based prevention and intervention.
- Resources to raise awareness and prevent victimization.
The audience had questions related to:
- The reason behind the continuously increasing reports per year
- The geographical extent of the issue
- How offenders identify or target the children to victimize
- Accountability of the online platforms
- The dynamics between NCMEC and law enforcement when dealing with reports
- Effective ways to protect children from predators
Resources Mentioned During the Webinar: