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Internet Safety

 

  An Eye Opening Email

Here is an email received from a family that personally went through a true chat nightmare. It is a must read for parents that may still be in doubt about what can happen to children in Internet chat rooms.

My daughter fell prey to these chat rooms and it really hurt that it happened. Here is a general story about what happened and the two men that were involved are still being investigation. Is there any companies that will come to your local school and help educate them about chat room.Our local school can not seem to stop these kids from accessing these chat rooms.Below is my story and I would be willing to answer any question you might have.I would really like your help. Michael Janssen

On April 9, 2005 our daughter at the age of 14, left to go down town and get a latte. A half an hour later she called and said she would be on her way home and she never made it. Not knowing at the time that she had met a 26 year old man on an Internet chat-room that was from Tumwater, Washington and had left town with him willingly. We as parents knew something was wrong and attempted to find out what had happen. The local police got very involved to find out what had happened to her. After being interviewed by the police, all leads turned to another 18 year old boy that she had also met on an on line Internet chat-room that lived in Davenport, Washington.

We had found out a few days prior to her going missing that she met this boy and we put a stop to it because of her age. However, all the information led us to believe she was trying to go see this boy in Davenport. After numerous hours of concentrating on all the facts we had, we were no closer in locating her. Around 11:12 pm that evening we received a phone call from our daughter that she was kidnapped and she had no idea where she was at. We asked her to hang up and call 911 so they could get a position on her location by her cell phone and that call never came. It was sometime later that we received another phone call from her saying she had gotten away from her attackers, and she had been raped, and we lost her phone signal.

At around 2:08 am we got her back on the phone and she was in a town and in custody with a police officer. After she was questioned by a police officer there, our local police drove over to Tumwater to also question her along with my wife. In the end our daughter lied about her kidnapping and being raped. She met this 26 year old on a chat line and after hearing how fun his life was she wanted to experience it. In turn after she got over there she found out that it was not like he said and wanted to come home but did not know how to tell us what happened so she made up this story so she would not be into so much trouble.

It was not until she got home did she realize by her lies on how much our police, family, friends and other people who we did not even know, did everything they could to find her and that this was something she would have to face up to. There are pending charges, she faces for making false reports and she could see the inside of a juvenile detention center, as she should. This situation happened because my wife and I gave her access to the Internet. Even though we monitored her we did not think that a chat room could be a place that she could be exposed to danger, how wrong we were. Two men 18 and 26 were able to lure her out of our house and could have done things to her that parents only see on the TV. She could have never been found much less alive.

We are sharing this story because this is happening all over because these kids can create their own little world and being exposed to someone that can tell your child everything and anything they want them to hear, just to get them to go with them. My wife and I have always protected our kids however; we did not see this as a problem. If anything positive that can come out of this is that we can share this with every parent and kid on how dangerous it is to let them be exposed to Internet chat-rooms. We would sit there and see some of the people she was talking to but on the Internet you can not put a face much less age to these people. I thank God everyday that my child was returned to me alive, even now she could face incarceration, at least we can hold her and work with her to put this past us.

We would have not been able to get through this without the support we received from the Odessa Police Department, other Law Enforcement Agencies, family, friends and complete strangers that showed up to help me and my wife. Please do not let your child be the next victim to these Internet chat-rooms.

Sincerely,

Mike and Melissa Janssen

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