Assessing the Risks

The exact number of sexual predators online at any given time is unknown, but some estimates go as high as tens of thousands. Some have a snatch-and-grab attack as their goal. But for others who want to perpetrate a scam or create a relationship of extended sexual abuse, they are trying first and foremost to gain their victim’s trust.

As Lawrence Likar, a former FBI supervisor, has said about the vulnerability of some victims of sexual abuse, "There are problems in their own lives that make them predisposed to manipulation by adults. The predators know that and are able to tap into these problems and offer what appear to be solutions."

Predators know that forming relationships is a developmental imperative of adolescence to fulfill ...

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