Minors and the Internet, a risky relationship - Sagué Abogados penalistas
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Minors and the Internet, a risky relationship

Minors and the Internet, a risky relationship

The rise of social networks among minors and their easy access to them has led to the emergence of new tools and methods that facilitate the commission of crimes by means other than those traditionally used.

One of these new criminal behaviors is the so called online grooming or cybergroomingThe term “child sexual abuse” refers to the use of methods by sex offenders to establish a relationship of trust with the child that allows them to gain the child’s confidence and access essential and intimate information about the child. Obtaining such information allows the aggressor to continue the harassment by manipulating or threatening to make it public to family members and/or friends of the aggressor.

Based on the foregoing premises, with the purpose of protecting the sexual indemnity of minors under 16 years of ageIn Article 183.ter 1º PC, our Penal Code typifies, in Article 183.ter 1º PC, the crime of Childgrooming or of sexual harassment of minors on the Internetpunishing with a penalty of one to three years of imprisonment or a fine of twelve to twenty-four months, an adult who contacts a minor under 16 years of age through the Internet, telephone or any other information and communication technology, and who propose to arrange a meeting with the purpose of abusing or sexually assaulting the same personprovided that such a proposal is accompanied by material acts aimed at rapprochement.

PREVENTION: How to protect minors from Childgrooming?

The main preventive measure against this type of harassment is to be found in the education education that must be aimed at the child’s firm commitment to the awareness about the dangers inherent in the Internet and social networks, both in terms of the false relationships of trust that can be created, the importance of privacy and the devastating consequences that can result from the mere publication of a photograph of an intimate nature.

Therefore, a minimum supervision of the use of the Internet by minors should be exercised according to their age, personality and degree of maturity, a control that basically consists of knowing which web pages they usually visit, with whom they communicate and how many hours a day they spend on it.

Another extremely useful measure to prevent this type of risk is to place the computer in the common areas of the home, so that it will be visible to and used by the whole family.

REACTION: How to act if we detect that a minor is suffering cyberbullying?

First of all, we must warn that it is extremely important to avoid any feeling of guilt or responsibility on the part of the minor who has suffered or is suffering harassment, we must always remember who the victim is without incurring in reproaches and absurd and totally counterproductive accusations for the minor, since the only person responsible for what happened is the adult who has taken advantage of the vulnerability of the minor to gain his trust and access, through new technologies, to his most intimate environment.

At SAGUÉ ABOGADOS PENALISTAS, we recommend the immediate filing of a complaint. Even if the harassment of “our” minor has ended, because if we choose not to report it, the perpetrator of the crime will remain unpunished, with no criminal record, and with full freedom to develop the same criminal conduct on other minors.