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Online/Internet safety

The internet has become an accepted part of the daily life of a child. It's a place for games, meeting friends, and learning many new things. While the internet gives children greater access to the world, it also gives the world greater access to children. Wherever children are, there will also be people who want to make contact with them for sexual purposes, who will violate children’s integrity and commit serious acts of abuse. Such crimes are becoming more and more common - and increasingly serious. Save the Children promotes online safety and encourage parents and adults—and the children themselves—to be aware of the risks associated with the internet.

Sexual violation and abuse against children means any form of sexual act forced upon a child by another person. Abuse can be categorised as either physical or non-physical. Much of the abuse that takes place on the internet starts off as being non-physical but through blackmail and threats, later becomes physical. One example of non-physical abuse is when a child is told to pose in front of a webcam. Sometimes things can go so far that children are forced to physically abuse themselves while the perpetrator watches. This is often called virtual rape so as to distinguish it from physical rape.

Grooming is the activity of becoming friends with a child, especially over the internet, in order to try to persuade the child to have a sexual relationship. In many countries, grooming is a criminal act.

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