Social media, apps are latest battle in fight against child sex abuse

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – You have heard the horrific headlines of children being targeted online, many times for pornography.

It’s something the Sexual Assault Center at Family Services in downtown Green Bay knows all too well.

“Each year, the Sexual Assault Center serves around 1,500 victims. Over half of those victims are children,” explains Program Manager Holli Fisher. “Our role is really to help the family understand what is happening and keep the child safe from further abuse.”

The latest battle advocates face is what is happening online.

“Many times a child might think they’re talking to another child, but it’s actually an adult who is grooming them,” adds Fisher.

That can begin with something as simple as a photo request. The person on the other end can then use that to manipulate kids into sending more photos or videos – or even doing things in person.

Fisher says if you are concerned that something is going on – pay attention to something as simple as what your kids might be doing with their phone.

“If their child turns off their phone or immediately turns off an app when the parent walks into the room, or if the child is spending more and more time alone in their room on their phone without that supervision,” explains Fisher.

The safest bet is to make sure you are checking on what your kids are doing on their electronic devices.

“Parents again really need to be mindful of looking through their child’s phone, to see how they’re using those apps, are the privacy settings on, who are they communicating with,” adds Fisher.

If something has happened, it’s important to report it. You should contact your local police department.

Here are other resources for parents:

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