Info@NationalCyberSecurity
Info@NationalCyberSecurity

City holding event to raise awareness about online predators | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing


SAN ANTONIO- Did you know, there are 500,000 internet predators actively pursuing children online at any given time? And it’s estimated that 1 in 3 young people have been exposed to unwanted sexual material online. But there’s a new program here in San Antonio that could help.

“You know she helps me too so we kinda work through it together,” says mother of daughters Deborah Balli. It’s pretty obvious Deborah Balli and her daughter Ava have a good relationship.

“And you can be totally honest ha ha ha,” says Balli.

But despite their strong bond, and Balli’s trust in her daughter. She created a contract for her to sign.

“It’s just a set of guidelines that says a. your electronics are not yours, they’re your parents 3:40 anything you do on them is subject to monitoring which you can see her face, they don’t like that,” says Balli.

According to the Child Crime Prevention and Safety Center, more than 50% of victims of online sexual exploitation are between the ages of 12 and 15. Online grooming crimes have risen 80% since 2020. And in 2022, there were 85 million images and videos of child sexual abuse online.

“Teach those limits, set the boundaries,” says Delores Haines with the Center for Health Care Services.

So we wanted to know what’s being done here to try and keep our kids safe. Haines says CHCS is launching the Community Health Awareness in Adolescents and Teens or CHAAT program.

The goal of the program is to arm parents and children with information about what’s out there and how to avoid problems.

“If you don’t know how to navigate that and you don’t have someone to speak with it can be an intense landscape to navigate on your own,” says Haines.

A landscape that Deborah and her daughters are doing together.

“Ask who she’s talking to say a quick hi, so I know who she’s talking to online,” says Balli.

“Even though you don’t like it, because they’re just trying to keep you safe,” says Balli’s daughter Evalyn Frers.

Here are some warning signs parents can also look out for. Children who become secretive about their online conduct, switching screens or tabs whenever a parent is close, and if they suddenly are spending an increased amount of time online. The city along with the Center for Health Care Services is sponsoring a free event to raise awareness about keeping teens safe online. It will be held this Saturday, March 2nd from 10 AM – Noon at City Tower 100 W. Houston. Parking will be validated. Saturday is World Teen Mental Health Day and they’ll be discussing high-priority topics regarding adolescent and teen wellness. These sessions will help raise awareness among children, parents, and the broader community about the benefits and potential dangers associated with online interactions. Reservations are necessary. To make a reservation, click here



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