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Sextorsion and Cybergrooming via Smartphone: students suffer undercover


Updated June 11, 2019, 10:26

Social media has a dark side. Especially children and adolescents have negative experiences. They are not only intimidated but also unwilling to come in contact with sex and violence. Much of this is under criminal law.

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There are only a few clicks, already the classmate's boss is mounted on the body of the porn actress and sent the sex video for the whole series. The victim is bombarded shortly afterwards with messages – with words and requests, which are usually not in a newspaper article.

Everyone can imagine the consequences for the teenager. An isolated case? By no means do professors and police in unison emphasize.

Virtually every school affected

Insult, threat, sexual harassment and coercion and extortion by smartphone, according to experts, in almost every school. But often adults do not even get these cases.

The perpetrators in this way polished their self-confidence, the confidants shut up in fear, the victims were silent for shame – and all together, often, they do not know that the borders are violated and that seem beyond the reach even more unthinkable.

"The world out there, so rough it sometimes is, so sloppy and vulgar, so sexist, racist and anti-Semitic, has hit the world of children," says Simone Fleischmann, president of the Bavarian Teachers Association (BLLV) . Social media, which has changed communication in society – and therefore also communication in schools – plays an important role.

Attacks are often hidden

"If you had previous conflicts between the students, then you saw this, then there was a row or a rowdy argument, so you could intervene as a pedagogue," says Ilka Hoffmann, a school specialist at the GEW education union. "Now everything is covered."

But while criminals can hide again and again in the anonymity of the network, it seems quite different to the victims: "The one who put this naked picture with my head yesterday in the classroom group, I met the next day in the classroom, and Everyone else finds me too, so that digital anonymity is overcome, and young people do not realize it, "explains Fleischmann.

The fatal one is: "Victims seek causes with them, which leads to great damage to self-esteem," explains school specialist Hoffmann. Most retreated heavily. While boys sometimes become aggressive, girls are more likely to engage in self-assertive behaviors.

Cyberbullying and sexual torture are part of everyday life

Esther Papp and Cem Karakaya experience this again and again. They deal with prevention at the police headquarters in Munich and deal daily with sexting, sexual torture, cyberbullying and cyber-bullying – terms that many parents have never heard of before but which are everyday life in many children's lives.

Sexting is initially voluntary, sexually motivated communication – that is, mutual "trouble" through chat messages or permissive shots, which are often demanded among young people as a proof of love. Sextorion turns out to be when those photos or videos are used for extortion. Cyberbullying is the creation and exposure of individuals through digital media, usually for a long period of time. And cybergrooming is the digital approach for minors with the goal of starting a digital or real sexual relationship. Adult pedophiles often become young.

The number of unreported cases is immense

According to the Federal Department of Criminal Police, police crime statistics do not provide exact figures on these phenomena. But all experts agree that the known cases are just the tip of the iceberg and there are a large number of unreported cases.

"As a police officer, we could seize at least 400 cell phones a day and create ads per day," says Karakaya. The employee regularly attends Munich schools to raise awareness among teenagers.

Completely sober, he summarizes that pornography is now the everyday life of seventh-grade students, but 12-year-olds did not know that much of what they find on social networks every day is a crime: threats, harassment and sexual coercion or Copyright. Well in one's own image or in the personal sphere of life.

Karakaya advises young victims to approach a responsible adult as quickly as possible to document abuses such as screenshots and, if in doubt, to file a complaint, "to show that you do not like everything you do not do the victim is that you defend yourself. "

"These are difficult things that young people can not handle mentally," Papp also experiences again and again. The consequences hit all the way to suicide.

Teasing and intimidation: singer talks about his bad school days.

Officers, therefore, advise students to always ask themselves two questions before posting something: "It has to be, and maybe I'll regret it later, maybe tomorrow?" They generally find that students are shocked when they see what information Facebook & Co. is sharing about them.

Karakaya and Papp know that their job is just a drop in the bucket. They see their parents first and foremost responsible – but they are rarely concerned about the dangers of the digital world, much less that they tread the path with their children together.

"It's very comfortable when kids disappear into your room with their smartphones," says Papp. "But then the screams are great when something happened." (Dpa / ANK)

In the American state of Colorado, a drama happened. A nine-year-old boy ended up being homosexual and was heavily bullied by his classmates. The consequences could not be more tragic.

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