April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. There are some simple steps you can take to educate yourself about the issue and empower the children in your life with the tools they need to stay safer.
Here are a few things you can do:
1. Know how to make a report
If you came across something online that made you uncomfortable, would you know what to do? Often with crimes on the internet, there are no clear jurisdictions. Who would you call? NCMEC’s CyberTipline is an easy tool to report suspected child sexual exploitation. NCMEC staff review each tip and work to find a potential location for the incident so that it may be made available to the appropriate law-enforcement agency for possible investigation.
2. Be aware of terminology
NCMEC strongly encourages the use of "child sexual abuse material" or “CSAM” as a replacement for “child pornography.” We believe “child sexual abuse material” most accurately reflects what is depicted in these images - the rape and sexual abuse of children.
NCMEC supports the legislation, Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2020, known as the “EARN IT Act of 2020,” which includes a measure to replace the term "child pornography" with "child sexual abuse material" throughout the federal criminal code.
3. Learn how to keep kids safer
Our “KidSmartz” program teaches real-world safety to kids in grades K-5 in a fun and age-appropriate format. Animated videos teach kids the basics of personal safety and tip sheets like, “Setting Physical Boundaries,” are great for parents to learn how to kick-off a conversation with their kids.
“Into the Cloud” is NCMEC’s latest online safety product for children ages 10 and under. Using data from actual CyberTipline reports, each episode focuses on a different element of online safety, from strategies for handling cyberbullying to recognizing and reporting unsafe or inappropriate interactions and content. And the best part? The entire first season is available now to stream or download at NetSmartzKids.org!
4. Follow @MissingKids on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
We’ll be sharing content all month long about how to keep kids safer. Stay tuned!