Grooming: let’s talk to our guys


Argentines spend a large part of our day in digital life. According to different surveys, On average, our time in front of the screens reaches 8 hours, of which 3 hours are invested in the use of social networks. In addition, girls and boys are accessing the internet at an earlier and younger age. Globally, adolescents and young people are the most connected. In contrast to this reality, cybercrime and the risk factors to which they are exposed also increased.

The UNICEF report on “Victims Against Violence” 2019-2020 realizes that Grooming crime increased 124%. This international body defines grooming or cyberbullying as the process of online child recruitment, whereby an individual, through the internet, tries to win the friendship of a minor for sexual purposes, sometimes through a webcam that allows sexual exploitation to be shared among sex offender networks, and sometimes even reunites with the minor to perpetuate sexual abuse.

In grooming situations, as a family and close people we need to know how to act, how to file a complaint but, above all, have the necessary tools to accompany and contain our children. It is essential to be attentive, listen to them and accompany them in the digital world, talking to them is key.

As a mom of teenagers, I think one of the main challenges is preventing it. There are care and security measures that we can configure for your protection: set privacy settings on social media profiles, block the possibility that unknown people can comment or write, share or forward our information, configure to prohibit inappropriate comments even completely disable the possibility of comments of any kind, enable screen time management, activate restricted mode for video searches, etc.

It is not easy and it takes time. But it challenges us.

It is also essential to talk about recommendations for taking care of your identity and reputation in digital media, since when we use the internet we build a digital footprint. Photos, videos, posts, comments, and shared information are hard to delete. How many times have we seen videos that go viral that do not build a good digital coexistence?

We have to accompany them in the use of new technologies, even when they know much more than we do. Dialogue, have an active attitude of conversation and knowledge about their online life, suggest them not to talk to strangers and if they do not use the webcam; use a nickname and not your full name when playing online, do not share private and personal information. Make them aware of extortion situations and that there is a possibility that an adult may create a false profile and lie about their identity. What happens on screens is happening in real life.

November 13 marks the National Day to Combat Grooming. The simple fact of contacting a child or adolescent for sexual purposes constitutes the crime, it does not matter whether or not an encounter later takes place. The crime is punishable by National Law 26,904 and included in the Penal Code.

The State has devices to combat grooming but we know that prevention and detection work is multidimensional and transversal; This means that all the organizations where girls and boys develop their lives must be trained to prevent, inform and report.

We all have to work in this regard, so that every child and adolescent can fully and legitimately exercise their rights. We are here to take care of your rights and accompany you.


What is grooming, how to recognize it and what steps must be taken to report it

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