year old girl. She shared with me this story:
Her 12 year old daughter had gone to a particular website and became involved with what she thought was a 14 year old boy. This boy proceeded to secretly chat with her daily. He insisted she download an app to her phone for texting which made his number impossible to trace. This person proceeded to use severe manipulation tactics focusing a lot of attention to her facial features and beauty. He would say “you look beautiful now but you would even better if you…” This particular site encouraged role playing of a very dark nature, exploring virtual violence and the sharing of sinister stories and situations as part of the
manipulation. One night after the young ladies dad went to bed, she took razor blades and cut her face because the boy
she had been involved with told her she would look better if she altered her appearance to look like someone else. She was taken to the hospital for her injuries. She is now home, recovering, but will always have scars from this incident.
I first want to thank this mom and commend her for being brave and honest in sharing her daughters story. Her reasoning is simple, she wants to protect other girls from becoming victims. Often we think of the threat of predators on the
internet as they want to meet our daughters or take them. We overlook the danger of manipulation and control. I have been to this website and this is a valid threat to our young ladies. The police are still investing, trying to locate this man, and he is still active.
A Brush of Hope believes in being proactive and vigilant in educating our daughters of potential threats and to make parents aware of anything going on. When our daughters are informed, they will not be caught off guard when facing certain situations. If they are prepared, they already know in their minds what to do.
Any website that is of questionable substance
Anytime someone is approached in a chat room that they DO NOT know is a threat.
Someone asking for a picture.
Someone being too affectionate and complimentary/flattering.
Someone trying to separate the young lady emotionally from her family by phrases like “they don’t understand you like I do” or
being over sympathetic/attentive to their needs.
Anytime they do not want the young lady to tell her parents because their mom or dad would be upset and not understand how much he loves her.
If he asks the young lady to down load an app so it is harder for him to be traced.
Someone who builds up then tears down then builds up then tears down their self esteem.
What we can do:
I shared this story with the young ladies in A Brush of Hope today. I will share with the young ladies on Wednesday. Knowledge is power.
We talked about going to a trusted adult if approached on line, in person or if their friends are getting involved in something that
doesn’t seem right.
Do not continue any conversation that may on the surface seem ok but makes the young lady feel uncomfortable.
We talked about removing oneself from a group of girls who are talking about a website that seems sketchy.
We discussed and practiced how to handle the peer pressure of not going along with the group. Even if they are threatened by the girls or called bad names.
If you know of other trends or threats that are going on please let me know. I will research them and post them under an alert warning on my blog. Please feel free to contact me if you have trouble talking with your daughter about these types of threats and I will help guide you.
To the 12 year old young lady recovering safely at home,
you are in my heart, you are loved, and I pray for an uncomplicated speedy