NCMEC Report: Grooming and Child Sexual Exploitation Online Have Exploded in Last 2 Years
( Post Millennial )
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) released new data about the growing dangers for children from predators on the internet.
"The scary reality of online exploitation is that rates of crime are continually growing," said NCMEC on Sunday. "In 2020, NCMEC saw a 97.5 percent increase of online enticement reports & in Dec. 2021, our CyberTipline surpassed 100 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation."
The scary reality of online exploitation is that rates of crime are continually growing In 2020, NCMEC saw a 97.5% increase of online enticement reports & in Dec. 2021, our CyberTipline surpassed 100 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation.https://t.co/pA9gH1pexc pic.twitter.com/hTz0phSmrv — NCMEC (@MissingKids) August 7, 2022
When children have unsupervised access to the internet, they can be contacted by strangers who wish to befriend them. A new report from the NCMEC says, "While at times this can be harmless, it could also be the beginning of grooming behavior, where an offender is gaining trust, beginning isolation, and then exploiting a victim."
NCMEC says that "online enticement" can happen to a child, on any platform, at any time. NCMEC lists some of the methods that predators use to entice children on the internet, including "starting a sexual conversation as a grooming method rather than a goal, asking a child for sexual images or videos, developing a rapport through compliments, shared interests, or liking their online post, sending or offering sexual images or videos of themselves, or offering an incentive such as a gift card, alcohol, drugs, lodging, transportation, or food."
NCMEC describes a newer online exploitation crime directed towards children called "sextortion" which "often starts when a child is targeted and blackmailed by an individual they met online who obtained a sexual image from the child through deceit or coercion." With most online exploitation crimes, 98 percent of reported offenders were seemingly unknown to the child, but with sextortion, 60 percent of the time the offender is known by the victim, according to a report.
Online enticement and sextortion often end with child sexual abuse material (CSAM) being circulated online, said the NCMEC. And it doesn’t end there. "The crime also often branches into Child Sex Trafficking (CST), when online advertisements for child victims of CST are posted on the internet."
"The scary reality of online exploitation is that rates of crime are continually growing. In 2020, NCMEC saw a 97.5 percent increase of online enticement reports and in December 2021, our CyberTipline surpassed 100 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation, nearly all related to images and videos of children circulating on the internet," the report said.
To combat child exploitation, NCMEC deployed their CyberTipline program in 1998 and the Child Victim Identification Program (CVIP) in 2002.
"CVIP operates on a dual mission to help provide information concerning previously identified child victims and to help locate unidentified child victims featured in sexually abusive images. Additionally, NCMEC hopes to prevent abuse through education and supports families and victims when child sexual exploitation occurs," they said.