Justin

By Justin Michaels - bio | email

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Child preditors praying on kids is a problem in every community. Now, Open Arms of Hancock County is hosting a series of seminars to educate parents on the issues.

"One out of seven youth, 10 to 17 years of age, is sexually solicited online."

Everyday, 20,000 child porn photos are uploaded to the web.

"And that's close to a million a year so it's clearly a problem all over the place."

And because of those statistics and so many others, open arms, a domestic violence and rape care center in findlay wants you parents out there to be armed with knowledge.

"We are raising awareness about child sexual abuse, that's what it boils down to."

The child abuse Open Arms is focusing on is the kind that comes across your home computers through social networking websites, hand delivered by internet preditors.

"They go into these youth chat rooms and they pretend to be a 10-year-old or a 17-year-old and they learn the lingo and they make friends with kids and groom them and eventually try to meet up with them, get their phone number, those kinds of things."

Open Arms Program Coordinator Erin Beard says there are several things you can do to protect your kids.

It starts with your computer.

"We also see a lot of parents who have no idea how to log onto their computer or check thier child's MySpace."

Beard says know the passwords and logins necessary to check up on your kids and make sure the lines of communication are open.

"they have to feel that they can discuss it with you and you're not going ot flip out on them."

Open Arms says the problem is so wide reaching there's no way to protect kids all the time, but there are things you can do to lower the chances of your kids becoming victims.

That's why they're traveling around Hancock County to spread the word and training parents on how to deal with this complex issue.

Click here to visit Open Arms' website for a list of times and locations.

Copyright 2009 WTOL, a Raycom Media station. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Return to HOME or NEWS page