RealStar’s volunteer Louise Zackrisson are thinking about social media and their role in sexual abuse.
So, social media is great right? You can share your life with others, get information about the next event near you and keep in touch with family and friends. However social media is also a virtual passage for various trafficking networks to find new victims.
The victims are often young and confident in their online safety. Posting pictures feels harmless. Conversations can be held in the comfort of your own home. It is probably the positive aspects of social media one has in mind when going on Instagram or Facebook.
Nonetheless revealing personal information online not always goes as planned. It is what these criminal organisations exploit, the opportunity to identify, contact and communicate with new victims.
Grooming, when an adult initiate contact with a child for sexual purposes, also gets a platform on social media. What initially feels as a safe relationship soon turns to extortion, sexual exploitation and abuse.
Phenomenon’s such as “cyber-prostitution” creates new demands on society. Young people’s awareness and knowledge is central but also that they get the opportunity to be safe online.
Measures are being taken to strengthen security on social media on state level, by authorities and service providers but further actions are needed. Also ways to use collected information to stop the continuing exploitation of young internet users.
Vulnerability can turn to strength. There should be no easy and secure ways to find new victims for prostitution and sexual abuse.
Do you want to engage against sexual abuse on the internet? RealStars have a project called KIM, a whistleblower online.