Online luring victims often asked to send photos
Many of the online luring cases reported to a Canadian tipline involved threats and requests for images, according to an analysis by a Winnipeg-based group.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection said it examined 264 reports sent by the public about luring to Cybertip.ca, a tipline for reporting online sexual exploitation of children, between September 2007 and June 2011.
Lianna McDonald, the centre's executive director, said adult offenders are using a variety of ways to manipulate children "to increase their compliance in order to sexually exploit them online."
Some of the centre's preliminary findings in its analysis of the reports include:
- Of identified victims, 85.9 per cent were girls.
- The mean age of the victims was 13 years.
- The mean age of the suspects was 25.
The centre said 31 per cent of the reports were made by victims while 50 per cent of the reports came from family members.
The suspects threatened their victims in 24 per cent of the cases, often with the threat of distributing images of the victim.
In 93.4 per cent of the cases, suspects made specific requests for images or there was discussion of previously uploaded images, and the victims complied in 30 per cent of the cases.
Parents need to pay attention to their children's online habits, said Signy Arnason, director of Cybertip.ca
"Kids will make mistakes online, it's inevitable," she said, adding that children simply can't "compete" with adults.