Dr. Perrodin and Hector Solis of Awareness Podcast traverse the uncomfortable and terrifying topics of youth grooming and youth trafficking. Despite its pivotal importance, this life-saving information is largely absent from mainstream media and school counseling curriculums. Yet choosing to ignore the monster does not make it disappear. CAUTION – MATURE CONTENT. This episode of The Safety Doc Podcast centers of agency, purpose and personal well-being.  We discuss adult themes, and therefore, this show is not recommended for younger audiences. CHILD GROOMING IS RAMPANT IN AMERICA. This is an epidemic with incredible momentum and effortless growing and spreading by cable and Wi-Fi across all socioeconomic and racial constructs to infiltrate stable, 2-parent households as well as single parent families or families in transition. In fact, Hector shares that some children have been communicating with groomers while in the same room with their family!  We often hear people say, “Yes, but this happens to other people - it won’t happen to me.” This can happen to you - and if it does, you may never be able to mend the damage. LESS THAN 2% OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS REPORTED. In a recent interview about human trafficking, expert Dottie Laster estimated that only 1 of 80-100 cases is reported due to traffickers being meticulous at hiding their involvement with victims (Solis, 2018). WHAT IS CHILD GROOMING? Child grooming is befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, and sometimes the family, to lower the child's inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse. It is also regularly used to lure minors into various illicit businesses such as child trafficking, child prostitutionor the production of child pornography. Public social media profiles are constantly scanned by potential groomers. The grooming process is subtle and typically begins with benign interactions such as, “Hey, saw your profile image and noticed the concert poster in the back. I also went to that concert and really like that group. What is your favorite song?” Groomers cultivate a deep trust and loyalty from their targets, who often perceive them as friends and people that validate their thoughts, such as “I think you are totally right that your parents are being unfair about not letting you buy those things at the mall. My parents were the same way so I understand what you are going through…” Groomers tell kids what they "WANT" to hear 100% of the time whereas parents tell the kids what they "NEED" to hear. CALL TO ACTION. Ask children how they might inform an adult if they had concerns about being the recipient of grooming or if they suspected that a peer might be involved in a grooming situation. Most school reporting systems are designed for bullying, harassment or threats so please help students find the words and phrases they could use to express concerns about grooming.  Victims may refrain from sharing of their experiences due to the phenomenon of “victim blaming”, or when others consider the victims to be partially responsible for their situations. RESOURCES. THORN: https://www.wearethorn.org/child-sexual-exploitation-and-technology/ NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN: http://www.missingkids.com/theissues/cse/cstt FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com.  CONTACT THIS EPISODE’S GUEST – HECTOR SOLIS. Website: https://www.awarenesspodcast.com/contact-me/ ARTICLE CITED. Solis, H. (Producer). (2018, January 25). Trafficked – Story by Dottie Laster & Online Grooming: Carly Ryan. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://awarenesspod.podbean.com/e/trafficked-story-by-dottie-laster-online-grooming-carly-ryan/

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