Our community’s battle against child molestation, child abuse and all other acts of child violence must begin, as George Sweat, Director of Juvenile Justice states, “in the high chair, not waiting until the perpetrator reaches the electric chair,” after the damage to the child is done.“
Our children’s safety continues to be the predominant concern of parents, guardians, and community members. As our society and technology becomes increasingly complex, so do our safety concerns. With 30-40 million users in America between the ages of 10 and 17, the computer age has compounded the threat to our youth. Through the Internet access we’re utilizing to communicate with you, child predators have acquired another entryway into the lives of impressionable children, using the medium of information, entertainment and social connection to manipulate and deceive.
In a staggering finding, the Parents Online Lifeline Organization and To Catch a Predator television program’s surveys suggest that 75% of children under 14 have been or will be approached at some point by a pedophile – attempting to discuss sex acts and lure children into dangerous meetings.
Crimes against children weigh heavily on young victims, their families, on the entire community. To apprehend those who prey on area youth via the Net, Sheriff Hightower and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office partner with producers of the television series, To Catch a Predator, resulting in hundreds of arrests, and the excision of pedophiles from our community.
WCSO Deputies and the Criminal Investigations Division are steadfast in their apprehension of these individuals day in, day out, and pursue every lead, check every tip, and investigate child abuse in every unfortunate form to the fullest, so that our local prosecutors can seek the severest possible penalties.
Yet as parents, guardians, and caregivers, we ask, what can we do to shield our children, to prevent such contact from occurring? First, please call Warren County Sheriff’s Office with information regarding inappropriate contact, to ask questions, or to report criminal, abusive activity.
The Internet can be a perilous frontier. As parents, grandparents, guardians, and caregivers, we must be fortified. Here are a few parental pointers, and a list of child safety links. We must be Internet-savvy, engaged in family activities, and we must keep communicating with our children, to keep the predators from doing the talking. If the World Wide Web, the “www” is truly the “window to the world,” let’s slam it shut on those who would crawl into our lives to harm our children.
Parents and children must be informed and pro-active regarding Internet dangers, so the family can enjoy the Internet as a beneficial, entertaining medium, and avoiding the hazards. Let your child know that she or he can always come to you, and we wish you and your family a safe, enjoyable time online.