The internet has become a natural part of children’s everyday lives – a place where they play, meet friends and learn many new things. Through the internet, the outside world has become more accessible for children, -but at the same time, children have become more accessible for the outside world. 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.
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For parents and other significant adults who live or work close to children, it may seem difficult, even impossible, to keep up with what our children do online and thereby difficult to know how to protect them. But there are many ways of supporting and guiding children on the internet so as to prevent them from getting hurt or into trouble. Basically, it’s all about sharing children’s activities on the internet with them. It should be just as natural to ask them ”How were things on the internet today?” as asking how football practice was or how things were at school.
This handbook is a compilation of advice from child psychologists and the police and also the personal narratives of people who have been subjected to abuse. We hope this book will make it easier for adults to talk to children about the risks of the internet. We also hope it will inspire you and help you to be part of children’s everyday activities on the internet.
The more we know, the more we are involved, the more we talk about the sexual abuse of children that happens on the internet, the better we will be able to protect our children.
Secretary General, Save the Children Sweden