As a father and security practitioner I often balance the benefits of teaching my kids how to be constantly aware of their surrounding. I constantly adapt simple situation awareness lessons that would be normal for young children without crossing the line into paranoia. This is obviously a sensitive subject due to the fact that a child’s learning and behavior is malleable and subject to manipulation. I worry about them becoming the target of a predator, but in my drive to get them prepared and ready to prevent or react, I wouldn’t want to create any trauma or long term negative effect on their mental health as fear and anxiety can cause.
According to The International Centre For Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), more than 2.1 million children (younger than 18) go missing around the world in a one-year period. Leading scholars and researchers estimate that one in five girls and one in ten boys will be sexually victimized before they reach adulthood, and less than 35% of these sexual assault cases are reported. With the advent of the Internet, child predators have a new avenue to contact their victims with perceived anonymity and to perpetrate crimes against children. According to a U.S. Department of Justice study, of the estimated 24 million child Internet users, one in five has received unwanted sexual solicitations yet only one in four told a parent.
I’m grateful for awareness tools such as these great e-learning materials prepared by KinderVision. I have used it as a learning tool for my children and also with clients who have expressed concern for their children’s safety outside their home. So far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s our moral duty to contribute to making all our children safe by empowering them through awareness information.