Online Grooming - how safe is your child?

Introduction

The internet is a wonderful place, it can be a very beneficial tool for both business and personal use. However, as a parent or guardian, you may feel concerned about your child’s safety online.  The lack of regulation around online activity can put minors in a very vulnerable position, so it’s important to understand both you and your child’s rights when it comes to online grooming.

Read Time 5 Minutes

Law about online activities?

In 2014, the NSPCC launched a campaign called “Flaw in the Law”. The aim of this campaign was to encourage the government to create regulations surrounding inappropriate activity relating to minors online. In particular, the campaign was focussed around adults sending sexual messages or images to a minor.

After receiving over 50,000 signatures in their petition, the NSPCC were able to have their concerns about online safety addressed by the Prime Minister.

Under the Serious Crime Act 2015, it is now illegal for an adult to send a minor a sexual message. A message can be a text, picture, graphics and other related forms.

What can I do to help my child?

Many children believe that they are talking to a friend or someone of their own age when they start a conversation online, and it can be very upsetting for them to realise that their ‘friend’ online isn’t who they say they are.

There’re a few things you can do if your child has received a sexual message online;

  1. You can call the police and report the incident.
  2. If your child is feeling anxious or upset, make them aware that they can call  

                           the Childline on 0800 11 11 in order to speak to someone experienced in

                            such matters.

  1. You can also call the NSPCC for advice on how to deal with these matters.

                           NSPCC’s telephone number is 0808 800 5000

  1. You must also consider setting up parental controls on the electronic  

                           devices and apps your children are using.

  1. You can also share your experience online which may warn other parents and may well

                             and deter an offender from committing further offences

  1. You should also consider seeking legal advice from a qualified and experienced lawyer

 

If you are affected by the issues raised in this news article or would like to speak to a lawyer, you can seek free legal advice from our experienced lawyers instantly through any mobile, tablet and laptop.

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