Goal is to begin dialogue between parents and children to raise awareness around ‘sextortion’
(BOISE) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has announced his office’s participation in Safer Internet Day 2022, a national event on February 8 designed to promote the protection of children in the digital world.
The goal of the campaign is to highlight the issue of sextortion, the practice of extorting money or sexual favors from someone by threatening to reveal sexually-related information about the individual.
Wasden says it’s a problem investigators in his Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Unit (ICAC) see regularly.
“Our goal in highlighting this particular crime is to get parents and children talking so young people can identify sextortion and understand the risks before it occurs,” Wasden said. “Safer Internet Day is a way to get resources into parents’ hands so they can start that conversation.”
Outreach will include a social media campaign on February 8. The hashtags #StarttheConversation and #SaferInternetDay will be used to publicize campaign messaging and connect parents with information. Permanent resources are also available for parents, educators and children. They include:
“It may be an uncomfortable conversation in the beginning based on the nature of the subject,” Wasden added. “But it’s an important conversation and one certainly worth having to help protect the young people we care about. These resources are designed to help educate adults and children and to help begin this important dialogue.”
The Attorney General’s ICAC Unit works with the Idaho ICAC Task Force, a coalition of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, to investigate and prosecute individuals who use the internet to criminally exploit children.
Anyone with information regarding the exploitation of children is encouraged to contact local police, the Attorney General’s ICAC Unit at 208-947-8700, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.