The problem of Online grooming of children

CYBER CRIME AGAINST WOMEN BY DEBARATI HALDER
This is me reporting from Sweden criminology conference at Stockholm. Since yesterday when the conference opened, I am attending all the sessions on victimisation in the cyber space and restorative justices. Well, no doubt, I am getting extremely strong and confident for my own presentation scheduled for tomorrow morning. There is a flow of informations from trans border jurisdictions, especially Europe and it is definitely scary…..cyber crime against female species of human beings is growing… Off course I have not come across any presentation stil now which spoke about adult victims ( I will be the first to start it tomorrow and I am looking forward to hear something regarding hacking etc afterwards), but quite a number of researchers did find similar results…online grooming of young girls are on the rise.in fact the situation is no different from India…… We name it pedophilia and related activities in India, they call it grooming. Well, we still feel reluctant to name this activity as grooming. Probably we in India take the word grooming in a very positive note. But the online groomers have the same methodology as is the case in Europe. I felt extremely uncomfortable to hear the specific ways and to see the chat messages that the members from the police in Sweden showed. I felt awkward because I was sitting along with a good number of men and women who were watching the presentation with me and I am used to see such comments or posts only in private while I am working as a cyber victim counsellor or writing something on the burning issues.Slowly the natural realisation settled in.. We are all birds of the same flock, all of us are working towards helping the victims and there is nothing to feel awkward to see or talk about some thing which we in India generally don’t do even in gatherings like this. In fact I have even dropped the plan of showing a naughty text message in symbols….I have no “shame” feeling about sharing some of my personal experiences now. 
Why online grooming is not getting this very approach in India still now? The answer is crystal clear now. We refuse to believe that our children can actually fall in such traps. Last year in India while I was participating in a seminar as a keynote speaker, a participant, who also belongs to legal fraternity, openly challenged me on my observation that girls in India are also “groomed” and they are also asked by their potential groomers to show their private parts through web cams or post the pictures. He refused to accept the hard truth that I have actually dealt with minor victims of such sorts of victimisations. He falls in the majority section. No one, not even the victim’s parents can believe that their child can fall in this very section. But I feel sad  to note that  in India online grooming is probably increasing. You ask me evidence for it and I would show the numerous police websites where they are now showing up caution messages for children. A good sign indeed. But the question remains about acceptance of such victims and victimisation in our society. The presenter in the conference himself was a police officer and he informed me that their society has successfully cut off the feeling of shame from the concept of victimisation. Perhaps he is true; he showed so many messages from the matured children which proved his words. We in India could not do this. It is the time for us to believe in the ancient saying “shame, hatred and fear… the more you grow them, the more they settle in you”. The more victims would come up, the lesser we can expect the rate of victimisation,for it may finally teach the offender that they are being noted and they are not welcome.

Please Note: Do not violate copyright of this blog. If you would like to use informations provided in this blog for your own assignment/writeup/project/blog/article, please cite it as “Halder D. (2012), “The problem of Online grooming of children ”, 12th June,2012, published in http://debaraticyberspace.blogspot.com/

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