The importance of educating our children on the dangers of social media

This past week an article was written regarding a 17-year-old boy who has been charged with trafficking a 14-year-old girl on social media.

The 14-year-old girl had run away from home after having a dispute with her family.  

Investigators interviewed the victim, and she told them after she left home, she was introduced to the 17-year-old by a friend.

Prosecutors said the 17-year-old engaged in a relationship and told her she could make money for prostituting herself.

The victim said that despite Quintero knowing she was a minor, he set up all of the contacts, referring to them as “dates” on social media, and told the victim how to handle the transactions.

The victim noted she had up to five “dates” in one day. A combination of recruitment by an older “boyfriend” figure (many times met online and used as a pawn by leaders of the trafficking ring) and coercing a victim into “dates” by convincing them that they will be able to “get rich quick,” are common tactics of predators. They especially target runaways who are seeking love, protection and a better life. 

This is why it is absolutely vital that children and parents recognize the signs and red flags of human trafficking and how to prevent it.

Here at Selah Freedom we understand the dangers that lie beyond the internet and social media. Within 48 hours of running away, 1 out of 3 children are solicited for sex and statistically, the average age of children running away and entering into sex trafficking is 15-17, although most of the survivors we serve report entering “the life” between 12-14 years old.

Our mission has always been to educate children so they are able to make smart decisions that will protect them from harmful predators. This is the mission of our Prevention Program which serves over 15,000 youth and adults annually. 

We offer virtual prevention trainings and events for both children and their parents to help create a shield of protection from this heinous crime. Some of our upcoming trainings include Sex, Lies & Media and How to Talk About Body Safety with Children (Training for Parents. If you are interested in signing up for an event visit our trainings and events information page.

Click here to find out how to join the movement and become involved with helping us put an end to human trafficking and saving the children!

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In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Justice policy, this organization is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write the Florida Department of Legal Affairs, Federal Discrimination Complaint Coordinator, PL-01 The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-1050, or call 850-414-3300, or write Office for Civil Rights, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, 810 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20531 or call 202-307-0690 (Voice) or 202-307-2027 (TDD/TYY) or https://ojp.gov/about/ocr/complaint.htm. Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may also contact OCR through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (TTY), 877-877-8982 (Speech), or 800-845-6136 (Spanish).  

EIN 45-5189165