© 2017 by Secure / Higher Ed LLC

Module 4: Common Scenarios

The Internet

 

Would it come as a shock to you to learn that people on the internet are not always who they say they are?  Yet why is it that girls who know that are lured into internet relationships with terrible consequences? 

 

Because we are human.  Sometimes, we feel like the loneliest person on the planet.  Our parents hate us.  We have no friends.  We have nowhere to turn.  And so we turn to the internet, seeking a friend.  And we’ll always find one.   But that friend may not turn out to be who we expect.

 

A 19-year-old boy in Wisconsin pretended to be a girl online and convinced about 30 teenage boys at his high school to send nude pictures to him.  He then used those pictures to extort at least 6 of those boys into sex acts with him before he was arrested. 

Watch the following videos about online "dating":

What’s amazing about the boy video is that the boys had seen the girl video just a week before, and still engaged in this unsafe behavior.  One boy watched a girl get “kidnapped” by getting into a white van in the girl video, but nonetheless gets into to the same white van after telling the driver something like “this doesn’t feel right.”

When you meet someone on the internet, you endanger yourself and everyone you know.  Many of these kidnappers are looking for slaves that they can sell, so they don’t just want one girl, they want many girls (and boys).  Once they have your phone, they can text your friends to meet “you” somewhere and kidnap them as well.

 

Students need to know that each of them can literally save a life by reaching out to other students who are lonely or outcasts. Students also need to know that it is critical to follow internet safety protocol regarding security software and being mindful of what sites they visit and emails they open.  Most importantly, students must NEVER keep a computer in their bedroom or other area where they will be changing clothes.  This is because their computers can be infected with malware that allows a bad person to view them through their computer changing clothes or engaged in other personal behavior, which the bad person could then use to extort the student into other degrading acts.

For a great experiment about how 13-year-olds are using the internet, watch this video (video will open in a new window):

Never get close enough to a car that someone could pull you inside it.

“After You … ” and other dangers

 

Parking lots and streets can be very dangerous.  If a car slows down to talk to you, be wary.  Walk or better, run, the opposite direction the car is traveling if you get a bad feeling.  Never get close enough to a car that someone could pull you inside it. 

 

In a parking lot, be wary of occupied cars parked next to yours.  Walking into a parking lot, particularly one that does not have a lot of people in it, can be dangerous, particularly if there is someone right behind you.  Ever see this?  “After you….”  Most men who do this are being gentlemen and see this as a polite gesture.  But you are completely vulnerable to being hit on the head from behind and pulled into a vehicle.  

 

One alternative is to move very quickly through the door and right to your vehicle.  If the parking lot is otherwise empty, however, you can decline saying, “Sorry, I need to use my phone first”, or “Oh, I forgot something” and turn back into the store or wherever until he moves on.   

Once a criminal gets you into a car, it is a very dangerous situation, as you are likely going to a place where no help will be available to you.  If you are in the passenger seat and not tied up, you have some options.  Initially, you want to confirm that the driver is in fact kidnapping you.  “I want out of the car.  If you don’t let me out of the car right now, that’s kidnapping, do you understand that?” You’ll likely not get a serious answer to this question, so you escalate by yelling violently:  “STOP THE CAR!  I WANT OUT!”  If you can identify what street you are on and the address, cross street, or business you are passing, calling 911 is a good idea. State the driver’s name, the make, model and color of the car, and information that can help the police find you (the direction of travel, the street you are on, and a cross street).

If you don’t have a phone, you options are more limited. Each has serious risk of death or injury. One option is to unlatch the driver’s seat belt  (keep your seat belt on) and then either jam the car into “Park” or pull the steering wheel sharply to the side attempting to crash into a parked car. Hitting anything head on at high speed is not advised. The other is to jump out of the vehicle. Trying to land on something softer than pavement and jumping at an angle away from the vehicle (you don’t want to be run over by the rear tires) are two pieces of advice in this extreme situation. 

 

If your kidnapper locks you in the trunk of a car, pull the wires connected to the taillights.  Maybe the police will pull the car over and you can scream for help.  You might also be able to find something (like a tire iron) that you can use as a weapon.  

Kidnappers Use Tricks
Kidnapping

 

While rare, the consequence of kidnapping to the victim is so grave that we believe this subject is worth covering in some detail.  Some recent tricks used by kidnappers include:

Once a criminal gets you into a car, it is a very dangerous situation, as you are likely going to a place where no help will be available to you.  If you are in the passenger seat and not tied up, you have some options.  Initially, you want to confirm that the driver is in fact kidnapping you.  “I want out of the car.  If you don’t let me out of the car right now, that’s kidnapping, do you understand that?” You’ll likely not get a serious answer to this question, so you escalate by yelling violently:  “STOP THE CAR!  I WANT OUT!”  If you can identify what street you are on and the address, cross street, or business you are passing, calling 911 is a good idea. State the driver’s name, the make, model and color of the car, and information that can help the police find you (the direction of travel, the street you are on, and a cross street).

A 12-year-old girl was at a mall waiting for her father. A man came up and said something like “I played football with your father, Jim. He was the quarterback. I was wide receiver. He was #12. I was #80. I haven’t seen him in years! Do you mind if I wait with you? [time goes by….] Hey, let’s get a soda over there.” The girl was pushed into a car and suffered for 6 months as a slave until she was rescued. 

Please also review the stories at this link:
Teen Girls' Stories of Slave Trafficking in U.S.
(as reported by ABC News)

Pedophiles are figuring out that due to the ridiculous laws of many states, if they commit a depraved act with a minor, they are guilty of a serious crime, but if that child takes money in exchange for that depraved act, then the pedophile is the “victim” and the child is the criminal.

 

Drug dealers are moving into “running girls” (and boys) because they perceive (often correctly) that the penalty for pressing a child into slavery is less likely to be enforced and are weaker than the penalty for dealing drugs. 

 

Terrible things generally happen to young people who are kidnapped.  The average age of a child victim of human trafficking in the U.S. is 11 years of age, according to the FBI. Children who are in foster care, run away, or are kicked out of the home (sometimes for being LGBTQ) are at a high risk to be exploited by human traffickers or other predators. But children from good homes are also targets for human traffickers, and have been kidnapped from their driveways or lured with promises of modeling jobs, drugs, or parties and then forced into the slave trade.  These children are often sold to pedophiles up to 24 times a day. 

 

Both boys and girls are victimized by human traffickers and their pedophile customers and need to be educated about the dangers of human trafficking.  Human traffickers will often intensively research their potential victims and their families.  They will threaten to kill or injure their victim’s family (particularly younger siblings) as a way of maintaining control.  These children will then turn into warriors, enduring the most horrific abuse in the mistaken belief that they are protecting their family.  Human traffickers will also falsely claim that the child will be imprisoned for prostitution or other crimes if s/he leaves or reports the human trafficker (sometimes by reading a prostitution statute to the child). Both of these are lies that have never come true.  If the child escapes, the kidnappers will be fleeing the police, not trying to attack the family.  Moreover, people are not charged for crimes committed under the duress of being kidnapped.  Patty Hearst robbed a bank with a machine gun, and the uproar over her conviction resulted in a Presidential pardon.

You can also read some terrifying descriptions of the human trafficking at :

An excellent free resource is Sometimes God Has a Kid’s Face by Sister Mary Rose McGeady, distributed by Covenant House of New York. 

The face of human trafficking in America is documented in the film 8 Days.

For a broader story on human trafficking, including the signs that someone is a slave, see the following link:

Laws that protect you

 

Virtually all jurisdictions protect you against unwanted touching, including being touched in a sexual manner without your consent.  You cannot consent when you are incapacitated, when you are with an adult and you are under 18, or when you are being forced or intimidated. 

 

What if someone is harassing you? 

 

Most jurisdictions have vulgarity laws as well as laws against making unwanted sexual remarks or advances.  Federal law prohibits sexual comments or advances that interfere with your education or work.  If someone is harassing you, hit record on your phone and take it to the police or a teacher.  You can also report it without a recording. 

 

Clothing choices 

 

We know of no research that shows that a woman is more likely to be assaulted because of the way she dressed.  It is a fact, however, that it is much easier to violate someone wearing a skirt or dress than it is someone wearing jeans or tight pants.  To remove pants, particularly tight pants with buttons, a zipper, and/or a belt, the perpetrator must often use both hands, leaving the eyes, nose, throat, etc. vulnerable to counter-attack.

In fact, Silvester Mwanza, counselor to the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations who has worked to reduce sexual assault throughout Africa, informed us that in largely lawless Egypt, even Muslim women choose to wear very tight jeans instead of their traditional dresses as a deterrent.

Following this module, invite students to stand and learn how to escape being choked from the front.

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