Red flags for parents

Some warning signs, which may indicate cause for concern, include:

  • Your child spends large amounts of time on the computer late at night. Most children that fall victim to computer sex offenders spend large amounts of time online particularly in chat rooms.
  • Addiction to the computer along with a loss of interest in social activities, friends, family, etc. Computer sex offender's work very hard at driving a wedge between a child and their family or at exploiting their relationship.
  • Your child turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room. A child could be looking at pornography or is having sexually explicit conversations and does not want you to see the screen.

While this is not a total list, changes in your child's behaviour on the computer should be of concern.

What if this happens?

If any of the following scenarios arise you should contact your local police or Crime Stoppers on the national toll free number 1800 333 000. Be guided by the advice they provide to you. Possible scenarios

  1. Your child or anyone in the household has received child pornography;
  2. Your child has been sexually solicited by someone who knows that your child is under 18 years of age;
  3. Your child has received sexually explicit images from someone that knows your child is under the age of 18.

If one of these scenarios occurs, keep the computer turned off in order to preserve any evidence for possible future law enforcement use. Unless directed to do so by any law enforcement agency, you should not copy any of the images/an or text found on the computer.