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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 24 April, 2019
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Warning for parents after naked man infiltrates Cork kids’ chat group

The man asked the children to put masks on their faces and touch themselves.

Image: Oovoo via Facebook

A WARNING HAS been issued to parents after it emerged a children’s group chat was infiltrated by a man with no clothes on who touched himself on video.

Deborah, the mother of one of the boys in the group spoke to Cork’s Red FM and told host Neil Prendeville that the group of seven children, both boys and girls, were talking together on the Oovoo live video chat service.

There was this man when they were in their group chat, this man came into a chat with them. He was completely naked, he’s around 50 or 60. What he was doing to himself you couldn’t even repeat it on air.

She said the children, who are all aged 11 or 12 years, were “shook up by it”.

The man told the children he was in France and asked them to put masks on their faces and “do to themselves what he was doing to himself”. Parents of the children have reported the incident to gardaí.

Danger

Child and adolescent psychotherapist Colman Noctor told TheJournal.ie that the types of messaging websites children and teenagers are using now are “awash with sexual predators”.

“The reality is that the virtual environment is dangerous, there’s no two ways around it.”

He said there is a risk this kind of interaction could have a traumatising effect on children as they are “not cognitively or emotionally capable of understanding” it.

“Even if they only catch a glimpse of it, it’s the uncomfortableness that your space can be invaded in that way that children are left with.”

Protecting your children

However, he said the children in this case should be applauded for going to their parents about it. The worst thing a parent can do, Noctor stressed, is to make a child believe that access to a device or social network will be revoked if something inappropriate occurs.

Having an open dialogue with children and properly supervising their use is the best way to protect them and ensure they bring issues to you when they arise.

Noctor said it is up to parents to “invest in teaching their child” so they have the internal decision making process.

“The idea in a child’s mind that these sites contain dangers has to come from somewhere and I don’t know where that will come from if parents don’t deliver it,” he said.

You can listen to the full conversation with Deborah here.

Read: Tears in court as mother is found guilty of starving and abusing her children for five years>

Read: Abused girl (3) found taped up in wardrobe and offered for sex>

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