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Thursday, December 13, 2018
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Online Predators More Prevalent Than You (or Your Teen) May Know
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On Thursday, July 26, Brenda Green, a concerned citizen for Shared Hope International, gave a sobering presentation on Online Dangers at the Greenhorn Valley Library. She was assisted by Merrilee Clark.

Online predators target both boys and girls. Most victims fall between the ages of 12 and 14, although younger and younger children are being targeted.

One of the main avenues for contacting these children is via texting or social media. Predators will lie about everything including their age, gender, and their location, to gain the trust of the youngsters they are targeting.

The predators will begin by appearing to be a friend to the young person. The predator will perhaps share a secret that only the predator and the unsuspecting victim know. That leads the victim into sharing their secrets, thoughts, hopes, and desires. The predator appears sympathetic to the teen's plight. This predator will fool the victim into believing the relationship has become romantic.

If the victim begins to believe this is a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, the predator will then introduce the young teen into the world of sexting (sending sexually explicit messages or pictures). Sexting is far more common than many parents want to believe. Recent studies indicate as many as one in five teens admit to sexting: if that many admit to it, there are most likely far more who are actually doing it.

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The Greenhorn Valley View is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of the Greenhorn Valley in Southern Colorado,
including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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