Is Your Child Being Lured?

Let’s work together in vigilance. The more we know what to look for, the more powerful we are to end the sexual exploitation of children and child sex trafficking  before it begins.

Parents of survivors say two very important things: “trust your instinct!  If something looks off, question it; and keep them talking to you no matter how upset you may be or they may get – silence breeds vulnerability.”

Traffickers strategically target their victims, often installing themselves into a child’s life through family, friendship, school, church, sports, activities and as a “boyfriend”. Predators know exactly what to say and when to say it to make a child feel safe, accepted, loved and attractive.

They hunt online and engage in roleplay as a grooming method, often posing as a friend of a similar age with similar interests to their targeted victim. They offer incentives, give compliments and engage in supporting acts such as “liking” their victim’s Instagram posts to build trust and rapport. They’ll wait until exactly the right time to ask for sexually explicit photographs or videos of their victims or offer to exchange images.

Parents of survivors say two very important things: “trust your instinct!  If something looks off, question it; and keep them talking to you no matter how upset you may be or they may get – silence breeds vulnerability.”

Traffickers strategically target their victims, often installing themselves into a child’s life through family, friendship, school, church, sports, activities and as a “boyfriend”. Predators know exactly what to say and when to say it to make a child feel safe, accepted, loved and attractive.

They hunt online and engage in roleplay as a grooming method, often posing as a friend of a similar age with similar interests to their targeted victim. They offer incentives, give compliments and engage in supporting acts such as “liking” their victim’s Instagram posts to build trust and rapport. They’ll wait until exactly the right time to ask for sexually explicit photographs or videos of their victims or offer to exchange images.

Here are some signs to watch for in (your) children if you suspect they are being lured online or in person:

An adult or someone inappropriately older has taken a keen interest in them

Regular lying and unexplained absences from school or home

A new friend or boyfriend who is controlling

A whole different group of friends (interested in drugs/alcohol/partying), and those who are much older

Skipping important appointments

Carrying false ID

Calls to her/his phone from unknown numbers that can’t or won’t be explained/secretive or excessive time on the phone

Regular visits to places inappropriate for their age – clubs, motels, hotels, even coffee shops at odd hours of the morning/night

Distancing from friends and family

New accounts on Kik, Discord, MyLOL, Gmail, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat and a refusal to share passwords

Inappropriate levels of anger when they’re not allowed to use their favorite social media apps

Promises of a modelling career

Expensive gifts like purses, clothes, lingerie and makeup not purchased by her/him

Physical

A dramatic change in hygiene

Rapid weight loss or sometimes rapid weight gain

Unexplained bruises, sores, scars or broken bones

Psychological

Anxiety and panic attacks

Frequent mood swings

Inability to find joy in things that once made her/him happy

Distracted, argumentative and unpredictable behavior

Distinct shift in personality – from extrovert to introvert or from introvert to provocative

Lost interest in working out, healthy diet and sport

A few preventative tips for parents like us:

Outline which websites your child is allowed to browse

Have all of their passwords to all of the social media platforms they visit regularly

Keep up to date on who their friends are in school, at play and online

Learn which sites, games and apps your children like to use and ask your children to teach you how to use them

Set limits on how much time they can be online and with whom

If something seems off, IT IS.

Contact Us

8865 Woodbine Avenue
Unit D3, Suite 124,
Markham, ON
L3R 5G1
Canada

General Inquiries: info@onechild.ca
Youth Inquiries: youth@onechild.ca

1.905.886.2222

General Inquiries: info@onechild.ca
Youth Inquiries: youth@onechild.ca

1.905.886.2222