There are many unthinkable ways to harm children online these days. If you think that social media is safe for your child, well, you may have to reconsider.
According to the police, they have set up a special Child Cyber Sexual Investigation unit to track down online sex predators who use social media to prey on young girls. The police have labeled these types of cyber crime as “cyber sexual groomers”.
Child grooming is the act of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, and sometimes the family, to lower the child’s insecurity for child sexual abuse.
The groomers would befriend young innocent girls on social media platforms in order to “lure” them into removing their clothes and performing various sexual acts such as masturbation. According to Bukit Aman’s Sexual, Women and Child Investigation Division (D11) assistant principal director Asst Comm Ong Chin Lan, the most commonly used social media websites are Facebook, Kik Messenger, ooVoo, and Omegle.
“The cyber groomers will initiate the lewd act by masturbating and exposing their private parts to the girls. It’s a case of show me yours and I’ll show you mine,” Ong said. The groomers will then record the whole process and use it to threaten the victims if they refuse to obey their requests.
Besides that, an American cyber groomer was arrested and charged in a US court after being found in possession of hundreds of child pornographic material. Among his collection, was a Malaysian.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said that foreigners from the US and Britain have been targeting young Malaysian girls and he describes it as an “extension of paedophilia”.
“We know what’s going on and are taking the necessary steps to contain it. We managed to detect several cases over the past few months, but the crime keeps escalating,” Khalid told reporters after closing a course for senior women police officers at the Police Academy in Cheras yesterday (18th May).
In the words of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, “At times, parents feel safer with their children staying home and surfing the Internet. But this may not be the case.”