Categories
Resilience

Dear Thais, report child exploitation!

Today in Thailand, social media posts of a famous Thai music producer and his 9-year-old daughter are going viral.

These photos can appear both innocent and disturbing in the eyes of the general public. His hand is in her pants. His hand is under her shirt. The photos of his interaction with the girl are clearly not rape of a child. So, can we – the public – just dismiss reporting them?

Before answering that question, let’s play a critical thinking game with this scenario. Instead of the 9-year-old daughter, imagine this man putting his hands into the pants and under the shirt of:

  • his young son
  • his adult son
  • his adult daughter
  • his own mother
  • his own father
  • his coworker
  • his adult wife/girlfriend

How would the son, daughter, mother, father, coworker, and wife/girlfriend likely feel and react? In which scenario above would it be appropriate for the adult male to slide his hands under someone’s clothing?

A child by nature is physically and psychologically vulnerable to exploitation by adults.

What the photos show appear to be grooming or inappropriate interaction with a child. This can be reported!

Please report any video, photo, caption, or comment that shows:

  • sexualization of children (boys or girls)
  • inappropriate interaction with children
  • promotion of sexual exploitation of children

You can help protect children by reporting such “creepy” content via:

  • ThaiHotline.org
  • Twitter
  • Facebook, Instagram
    • Click “…” and select “Report” … sexual content … involving a child.

Categories
Resilience

Victims to Victors

Words have power. Words can also disempower. We must mindfully choose the words and phrases used to label situations and people.

Among those who have suffered traumatic childhood experiences, the word “victim” may trap them in a victim mindset or may limit their ability to realize their full potential. Some call themselves “experiencers” to neutralize the emotional pain associated with victimization.

Many have chosen to call themselves “survivors”. What comes to mind when you hear the word “survivor”? Drowning, fires, plane crashes, car accidents, tsunamis.

The label “survivor” captures the stage of overcoming life-threatening trauma lost in the label “victim”.

“Survivor” however can sound inadequate in capturing the full journey of the person who endures lengthy waves of childhood trauma.

Would “victor” better describe the eventual achievement of being released from the physical, mental, and emotional chains of continuous victimization? “Victor” may better capture the complex journey of overcoming of adverse childhood experiences.

We at SafeguardKids want to guide those who have suffered childhood trauma from victim to survivor to victor of their life journeys. More importantly, we serve to educate children and caregivers on ways to prevent harm to children.

Let’s continue to invest in the safety and well-being of children and expand their creative potential.

Join us in supporting the next generation of innovators, creators, and caregivers.

Categories
Events Resilience Technical Services weSafeguardKids

Thai Laws: Online Safety

Thailand upgrades its laws to better protect children online and offline

In December 2015, with initial drafting by Prosecutor Mark Charoenwong, Ph.D., and input from SafeguardKids, Thailand passed legislation to ban the possession of child sexual abuse material. Now in December 2020, Thailand is reviewing additional legislation drafted to protect the safety and wellbeing of children online.

On 17 December 2020, representatives from the Department of Special Investigation, Office of Attorney General, Central Juvenile and Family Court, Supreme Court, and key legal assistance and child protection non-government organizations met again to review the latest draft of “Offenses against Children Online” for inclusion into the Thai Penal Code. This draft covers grooming, unwanted sexting, extortion, stalking, and cyber-bullying, reports of which continue to grow.

This group of experts emphasized the need for wording clarity to avoid arbitrary interpretation, the roles of victims and offenders, as well as the ability to apply this new legislation in real-world practice. The deliberations of this draft will continue early in 2021.

Categories
Educational Programs Resilience weSafeguardKids

Child Safety Online

Children must continually be reminded to not accept friend requests from people they have never met face-to-face. Many child sex offenders create fake online profiles to gain the friendship of children to possibly abuse. They use photos of children of the approximate age they are sexually attracted to and use clues found in the targeted child’s profile to convince the child that they are in the same peer group. Additionally, children should not post photos, texts, check-ins, or page-likes that identify what school they attend, where they live, or where they frequently hang out. These details help child sex offenders make in-person contact with the child possible.

For guidance on how to teach children to protect themselves online from sexual abuse, read the #Netsmart handbook by Save the Children Sweden. This handbook is available in English and Swedish.

Categories
Educational Programs Resilience

Empower Children

Warn children about the techniques used by child sex offenders, particularly grooming and sextortion. Many child sex offenders coerce the child to keep the sexual abuse a secret, so inform children which kinds of secrets are okay to keep and which are not. Let children know that they can talk to a trusted adult, child helpline, or school counselor if someone is bullying them by threatening to share indecent photos of them – in other words, sextorting them.

Talk to children calmly, openly, and appropriately when they ask questions about sex. Children can be taught to protect their bodies and to say no to inappropriate touch. For more on how to educate children of varying age groups about sexual abuse, read the Body Boundaries guide for parents and guardians by Save the Children Sweden, available in English, Spanish, and Swedish.

With more and more children using smartphones, the number of children taking and sending sexual photos and videos of themselves – a form of “sexting” – is also growing. Children should be informed of the risk of sexting. Once their sexual photos and videos are passed to another person, the child will no longer have control of who else accesses their material. Once their material is shared onto the internet, the material will remain online forever. For instance, the sexual photos a teenager sends to her boyfriend while they are “in love” can later be uploaded by the boyfriend out of spite or vengeance during a dispute or break-up.