Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The NET Worth of a Sexual Predator


Sexual predators defraud where ever and when ever they can. Like trolls prettied up as princes, they permeate every part of society and pick their targets from where ever they can access them: including the internet. They know no class or gender bounds; they instead pick anyone who falls for their fraudulent and cowardly manipulation. Their net casts over us all. Be careful, be warned, be vigilant of whom you share personal information with.

Partial attraction of internet forums is the anonymity and freedom to state your views without fear of being ostracized in real life. Predators know this and they will trick you into revealing far too much personal information about yourself. They hide behind the anonymity and create personas that match yours.

Even recently, a young person posing as a married Mom in her mid 20's chatted away merrily to us, offering advise and support. While she or he may have been a teenager just having some fun, the situation has highlighted a need for vigilance and protection.

While the worth of the internet is priceless to internet predators, think of the real cost of sexual abuse. In How Much Does Sexual Violence Cost? it is suggested that rape is the costliest crime for victims in the United States, with annual costs to victims estimated at $127 billion (this estimate does not include child sexual abuse). Further, they state, "the average cost of being a rape victim is estimated at $110,000. This compares with victim costs of $16,000 for robbery, and $36,000 for drunk driving."

Amazing and despicable. I am tired of women carrying the burden of cost - both emotionally and financially. It is time to stop ALL sexual violence, no matter where it occurs. Because we all use the internet to talk and share with each other, this is a good place for each of us to start.

However, the vigilance is down to all of us reporting suspicious and dubious activity. We have the power to stop internet predators. We have the power to protect all people from the endemic pus of sexual violence. We don't need to hide, we are doing nothing wrong. The predators who attempt to use the information against us need to change. We will not be manipulated into hiding. We will however, be motivated to report against those who dare to permeate our space.

As a collective and borderless internet community, we need to let the net predators know that their behavior will not be tolerated. We will watch, we will tell, we will act. Predatory behavior on the internet is no less damaging than predatory behavior in our neighborhood.

It is however, MORE intrusive, MORE achievable, and MORE sneaky.


No comments: