Talking to your children about sex, pornography, or sex trafficking will likely be the hardest conversation you’ll be glad you had.
For young girls, self concept and the accurate perception of their own value is the guiding compass for every choice they will make, even decisions involving sexuality. Start early by giving your young children a strong sense of self worth. For boys, their character and exposure to accurate perceptions of women, is a guiding compass for their decisions in sexual intimacy. Build strong boys with the capacity to value themselves and value others.
All children need to know and trust their senses which lead them to recognize and react to anything that doesn’t “feel” just right. They should be fully aware of the details of pornography, sexting, sextortion, and trafficking in order to make responsible decisions which align them with their best future possible.
FACT #1) Many victims of the sex trade industry enter the life before the age of 15
– World Without Exploitation
FACT #2) Online predators groom boys and girls online – Grooming is the process of manipulating and coercing a minor into activity online that can become sexually exploitative. “Online grooming is a term used broadly to describe the tactics abusers deploy through the internet to sexually exploit children.” (Thorn.org)
FACT #3) 1 in 7 runaway children are “likely” sex trafficked.
– Polaris Project
FACT #4) Talking to children about these sensitive issues doesn’t instigate their interest or risk for being a victim of sex trafficking or being a trafficker. Not talking about these issues, will.
FACT#5) Pornography is the leading fuel for the sex trade industry.
- Porn increases the need for gratification.
- The need for gratification increases the demand for an object.
- The demand for an object increase the sale of innocent humans as a commodity.
You can encourage online safety for the minors in your home:
- Encourage children and teens to only view material online that they would feel comfortable viewing, with you (their guardian) sitting beside them.
- Teach them to avoid interacting with any new “friends” online. A friend is not an online profile picture of someone they don’t know well. Predators often manipulate children and teens with lies, flattery, and false personas.
- Remind them not send pictures of themselves to others – even to friends. These pictures can be used against them in threats and entrapment. If they already have, be open enough for them to come to you about how to move beyond their mistake. It’s important they know they will not be judged or punished for coming forward.
- Reinforce that they should never meet anyone they are connected with online, for any reason.
- Teach them to avoid conversations on social media, texting, video apps, or online gaming systems with anyone they don’t personally know. “Personal” means a person they have had multiple face-face interactions with and has proven to be trustworthy.
- Guide them to trust their gut. When something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Be courageous and leave or exit any interaction or material that instigates a gut reaction.
- Uplift them and constantly remind them of their immense value, worth, and promising futures and that you are always there for them.
Thank you for the commitment you show daily to your kids/teens and for your presence in their lives. The Life 107 team supports you as amazing parents – If we can be of assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources for talking with your kiddos about pornography, sexting, sextortion, and trafficking:
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: kidsmartz.org/TeachingTools
National Trafficking Resource Center: NHTRC Student Engagement Toolkit
Online Training: Human Trafficking Awareness for Educators
US Department of Education: TIP Fact Sheet for Schools