Republished by: Izobofolo’s Blog
BEWARE OF CYBER BULLIES & OTHER INTERNET RELATED VICES ESPECIALLY IN RESPECT TO YOU CHILDREN
Now, read this story…
It’s a long read but a good warning for parents. When my daughter was 15 years old I noticed she wasn’t sleeping at night and that she would be up all night chatting. I assumed it was with her girlfriends. In the morning she was so tired. She was doing well academically. Her moods and appearance changed: she didn’t wash her hair, she got angry more often, she would slam her bedroom door and the “girl talks” we used to have just disappeared. She no longer needed me.
I knew there was something wrong but assumed it was just “normal teenage angst”. It wasn’t. One night I was determined to find out what was going on, so yes, I went on a night raid of her room when she was chatting on line. And yes I caught her in the act. But it wasn’t with her girlfriends from school, it was with a 27 year old man from the Netherlands who at the time told her he was 18 years old.
She told me through tears that she was in love with this man and going to marry him. I absolutely flipped! I took away her phone and lap top and wifi. She then ran into the kitchen and cut both wrists several times. When I got there I instantly removed the knife from her and wrapped her wrists with gauze. I then took her to her room and called a crisis line. This was followed up by counselling, notifying the police as directed by law and her school principal to put on restrictions. I was told to restrict wifi for 6 months then gradually introduce it again. We found out that there was another 19-year-old girl at her school that he was also having cybersex with without my daughter’s knowledge.
I spoke with the individual and told him to stay away from her as he already did enough damage, to stop depriving her of her youth. He told me that “When she turns 18 there is nothing you can do!”.
I thought that I had put enough measures in place and that by talking to her and getting her counselling that all would be well. She was doing well in school and got a scholarship to one of the best universities here. That spring we got a condo for her to live in, a room mate whom she had been friends with since elementary school, furniture, a car…everything that would make her transition easier.
On Saturday July 1, I went away with my husband for the weekend and before we left we had breakfast together with my daughter. She was just radiant. I complimented her that day, gave her a hug and a kiss and asked if there was something she wanted me to bring back for her. “Oh, don’t worry about me Mom. Have fun. I love you.” I remember exchanging hand heart kisses through the window.
When we returned Sunday morning the front door was open and she was missing.We thought she was kidnapped. Her friends did an on-line media campaign to find her. Jewelry, money that I was saving for her school year in a bank account, electronics, and her passport all missing. She was gone.
We called police and put a missing person report out. Six long, heart breaking, sleepless nights later my daughter was located in the Netherlands. Alive!
It was determined that she ran away to the Netherlands to this man. He is 30 years old, unemployed living in his father’s one-room apartment, unkept and obese. For 3 years she was secretly sending him money.
My daughter went out on only a few dates at 17 but never really had a boyfriend. She was shy socially, a little overweight, and so very beautiful to me and everyone that knew her. She had a lot of self-esteem issues as most girls her age would have but she was kind, considerate and a warm-hearted person. All this changed overnight. From the secret life she led came the lies, followed by depression and then anger.
What did he teach her? He taught her to HATE: to hate her family, her friends, her grandparents, and even God. And to hate me the most because I SAID NO. All her friends, family and teachers tried to convince her to return to no avail. She blocked everyone.
He controls all her Internet security on her e-mails and occasionally e-mails me from her e-mails, taunting me, “She’s never going to come back to you. You’re disgusting. You’re a control freak. What kind of mother are you? You’ve lost her forever. Go to the police, I’ve been in hotter fires than this!” Apparently this is what Internet predators do especially to the parents of their victims. And not once, not once has he ever professed his love for her.
They both told police that I was trying to kill her, that I held her down and cut her wrists, that I locked her in her room, that I advocated suicide, that she ran away to him to be safe that I was too controlling and installed a GPS chip in her, and she needed her freedom because she is 18 years old. Her aunt, uncle, parents also flew there to try to talk with her only to be met by police and a closed door.
What is my Biggest Mistake? Not putting a GPS on her phone and a monitoring system on the laptop when she was initially given electronics and access to the Internet as a child. You see my daughter had told me what I wanted to hear…”Mom I had Internet safety training; you need to trust me.” “Mom, you can trust me I promise I’m not online with him anymore.” And I tried to trust her but then came the fights, and the mistrust. I did not know what to do? You see, there was a stranger living in her bedroom… and I didn’t know. She was given our trust and her privacy. Our lives are now shattered.
What is my Biggest Regret?Love and hug your children every day and tell them you love them. Love them even more when you are upset, angry or fighting with them. Set aside your anger, put your arms around them and hug them. Just hug them! Because when they’re fighting and arguing the hardest that’s when they are hurting the most!
Who is this Online Predator? He is a programmer/hacker. At the time of our daughters disappearance all our emails were being hacked, our bank accounts, our phones on a daily basis for two months. Our correspondence with police, investigators, court documents, medical documents, flight itinerary to the Netherlands were all compromised as were our Amazon and PayPal accounts. He knew everything!
Why am I writing this? My daughter loves Quora. I am hoping that I can get this message to her:
”My darling precious child, I love you more than words can express. I am truly sorry that I didn’t try harder to listen to you and that I didn’t hug you when you needed me the most. I am not going to try to force you to come back home. Your life is yours. Don’t be embarrassed in what you have done. We don’t blame you. We blame him for playing with your emotions.We all miss you and love you unconditionally, and we would welcome you back with open arms. Please be safe. Please, please call me, your Nanna, anyone! I am waiting by the phone. I Love You Always and Forever. Mommy OXOX”
A Note For Parents: They initially met on INSTAGRM when she was 15 years old. That led to meetings on a music site called SING. From there he encouraged her to go into chat rooms on LINE, that then led to a sexual relationship. He purchased video games for her to play online. In Canada it is illegal to have sexual relationships on the internet with anyone under the age of 18. And if there is greater than a 5 year age difference, that individual could be facing up to a 10-year jail term. The police diligently investigated this case but could not find chat logs. There is no time limitation for charging someone with the historical sexual assault of a minor.Canadian Criminal Sentencing/Offences/Child Luring
UPDATE: That man called me . He admitted that she was a minor at the time but could not stop the relationship. He wanted me to take down this post in order for me to speak with my daughter. I did as he asked. Then when I called to speak with my daughter, no one picked up. I have since restored my post. I may have lost my daughter to an online predator, but it will be my mission in life to make sure that no other family has to ever endure the pain and hardship my family has, that no other child is exploited as mine has been. The internet is not a toy, their babysitter or friend. The hidden dangers are real, and this too can happen to you. Thank you for your stories, your advice and your prayers… parents please learn from my mistakes and hold your children dear, and please share this story with everyone you know!