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The witnesses were Katie Tarbox, who in 1995, at age 13, had been inadequately briefed on the "rules of the net" and disasterously agreed to meet a child predator she'd chatted with online; two local law enforcement personnel, John Karraker and Jim Gregart; Ruben Rodriguez, the Director of the Exploited Child Unit for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; Caroline Curtin, the Director of Children's Policy for AOL; and Kathleen Tucker, the Director of Curriculum Development for I-Safe America.
Everyone was concerned about keeping children safe online.
Knowledge is key, but kids are, as usual, embracing and understanding change, while bored Congressmen sit behind tables and listen to prepared speeches.
A study called JOVIS is in the works and should provide some concrete numbers. Rodriguez, we can expect data from it in four to five months.
In any case, the message our lawmakers heard yesterday was that we need more laws.
The best numbers I found were from a phone survey of 1,501 children, ages 10 to 17, who used the internet regularly.
Of them, 19% had "received an unwanted sexual solicitation" (imprecisely defined) but only 3% had been solicited with "attempts or requests for offline contact" or actual offline contact.
With an Oprah special about it practically every week, and news documentaries and polls, the facts are pretty much right out there for you.
It's like taking candy from a stranger, it's common sense I guess...
What they thought, and what they reported their friends thought, was pretty savvy.
They understand the dangers, are well aware of the internet's advantages, and know how to stay safe.
And precisely 0 of the 1,501 children said they had been sexually contacted or assaulted due to online solicitations.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating