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Increasing your child’s protective behavior vs online sexual exploitation and abuse

In a Stairway Foundation online study done in the Philippines, 8 out of 10 online chatters started sexually explicit conversations with someone they thought was a 14-year-old girl. According to the Philippine Kids Online Study (2021), 1 out of every 7 children has received sexual messages online.

In a discussion on Cyber Safety by Ms. Christina Princess R. Campos from Stairway Foundation during the celebration of the 11th Juvenile Justice and Welfare week (JJWeek) in the National Capital Region (NCR) on Friday, November 25, she stressed that children nowadays could quickly adapt to the technology. Thus, they can’t be stopped from using the internet. However, what parents and guardians can do is learn and find ways to mitigate the dangers of using the internet.

Ms. Christina of Stairway Foundation discusses Cyber Safety during the 11th JJWeek

Here’s how parents and guardians can build up their child’s protective behavior online:

1. Teach them the concept of strangers
We define strangers as those we do not know. We should treat strangers in the same way online and offline. However, young children might not be able to recognize whether a particular interaction with a stranger is already dangerous. On the other hand, remind teenagers to believe their feelings if a situation seems confusing or to recognize whether it is unsafe.

2. Identify online red flags
Tell a child that if something they saw, read, heard, or interacted with online made them feel uncomfortable, consider it a potential red flag.

3. Protect Private Information
If it concerns a person's private body parts, it is already PRIVATE information and shouldn't be shared with anyone. Parents and guardians should be able to teach a child the proper term for private body parts.

4. Trusted adults
Allow a child to identify at least 5 trusted adults from various settings, such as home, school, and community so that they have options if a trusted adult is unavailable.

If a child has a problem, he or she can talk to these trusted adults.

Ms. Christina concluded her discussion by reminding everyone that while it is important to develop a child's protective behavior, offenders are accountable for their behaviors.

With the theme, "Pagbabago ay Panigurado kung Tututukan natin ang Juvenile Justice Law!” the Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Committee - NCR (RJJWC-NCR) celebrates the 11th JJWeek last November 25, 2022, at the Ramada Hotel in Binondo, Manila. The culminating activity was participated by social workers involved in managing cases of children at-risk (CAR) and children in conflict with the law (CICL). Participating also in the event are residents from Bahay Pag-asa (BPAs) and National Training School for Girls (NTSG) in NCR. The activity aims to promote the implementation of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 and showcase the talents of Bahay Pag-asa and NTSG residents in NCR through spoken poetry. (PIA-NCR)

About the Author

Gelaine Louise Gutierrez

Information Officer I

National Capital Region

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