Protecting Children From Online Predators
Time: Noon to 1:15 pm
Venue: Maple Room, Inn at the 5th, Market District
205 E 6th Ave
Enter the Maple Room at Inn at the 5th near the north stairs to 5th Avenue. Details at https://cityclubofeugene.org/see-you-at-our-new-meeting-space/. An optional lunch from Tap & Growler may be purchased; please, no outside food. Park in the lot north of the railroad tracks on High or park west of Market Square on 5th.
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Children are using the internet in ways we could not have imagined just a few years ago. While all of the web-based tools at children’s fingertips provide tremendous opportunities for learning and connection, they also come with significant risks. Between 2019 and 2020, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) experienced a 97.5% increase in reports of online enticement (defined as communicating with a child with the intent to commit a sexual offense or abduction). Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, and victim advocacy groups across Lane County, are experiencing similar increases.
While children are targeted in numerous ways, there has been an increase in sextortion schemes. In these schemes, perpetrators use explicit images to blackmail young victims. Boys and girls ages 14-17 are targeted most often, but perpetrators are increasingly targeting middle school children. The effects on a young victim can be devastating and have included self-harm as well as death by suicide. Sadly, out of shame and/or fear, many children are hesitant to report when they are victimized.
There are steps well-informed parents and community members can take to limit risks to children and to empower children to remain safe, responsible and productive online citizens. The purpose of the forum is to share valuable tools to keep children safe when online. Come and hear what Kids FIRST, the 4J School District, and the FBI recommend.
Title: Supervisory Special Agent
Supervisory Special Agent Ryan Dwyer has been in the FBI for 21 years, and has led a wide range of criminal and terrorism investigations while stationed in California and Oregon. In 2015 he was promoted and served in the Public Corruption/Civil Rights Section at FBI Headquarters. For the past six years, he has led the FBI Resident Agencies in Eugene and Medford (satellites of the Portland Field Office).
Title: Director of Safety
Organization: 4J School District
Kari Skinner is a former police officer with experience in emergency management and youth services. She oversees all school safety and security operations for the 4J School District. Before stepping into the role for Eugene schools, Kari Skinner was in various emergency management roles with two other Oregon school districts and has law enforcement experience as a non-sworn employee, police officer and a youth services director. She also was an adjutant with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Title: Executive Director
Organization: Kids FIRST
Sarah Stewart is the Executive Director for Kids FIRST, Lane County’s Children’s Advocacy Center. Her journey with Kids FIRST began as a child client. Sarah then joined the Kids FIRST team as a volunteer in 2011 and was hired as a victim advocate shortly after. Through the advocacy program, she served in several different specialized roles. By 2015 she was promoted to Deputy Director and supervised program services. While in her role as Deputy Director, she earned her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon (2016). In November of 2017, Sarah assumed the position of Interim Executive Director, and in 2018 she became the Executive Director. Sarah has a heart for kids and firmly believes in the sentiment that “abuse does not define you.”