Internet Crimes Against Children

DCAC offers a specialized case coordination program to serve youth and families who have been impacted by human trafficking and/or internet crimes against children (ICAC).  In addition, DCAC has therapists, forensic interviewers and victim advocates on staff who have received specialized training to serve this population.

Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) and Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)

Due to the prevalence of Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC), the State and Federal government developed a task force dedicated to providing an effective response to cyber exploitation of children and child sexual abuse material (formerly referred to as child pornography).  The task force oversees investigative initiatives, professional training, community education, and victim services (SCAG ICAC).  

In 2023, South Carolina passed Gavin’s Law, which makes sexual extortion (or, “sextortion,” defined as the act of blackmailing someone using sexually explicit images or videos) a felony offense and an aggravated felony offense (Gavin’s Law).

Tips for Protecting Your Child Online:

  • Start a Conversation.   The number one protective factor for any family is an open dialogue about the risks and benefits of online interactions.  Teaching a child about online safety and empowering them to make smart choices has more lasting power than if a parent were to solely mandate safety settings.  
  • Still, set strict privacy settings.  If your child has social media accounts, access should be restricted to only trusted friends and family.  Familiarize yourself with trending applications and research how specific safety measures work.  If an application appears too risky, let your child know that the application is not okay for use and look for safer alternatives.   
  • Don’t share personal information online.  Phone numbers, addresses, school information, or location information are among the many pieces of information that we should be mindful of keeping off of social media.  Teach your family to turn off location settings and to keep this information private while interacting online, to include online gaming platforms. 
  • Think before posting.  Everything posted online, regardless of privacy settings, is a part of an individual’s digital footprint and could be shared in the public domain.  Before your family shares content, consider:  Would it be okay if this post was made public?  If not, it could be best to reconsider posting. 
  • Be a Safe Adult.   Teach your children that if they come across a person or type of content online that makes them feel uncomfortable, they should come to you and they will not be in trouble for having come across it.  When they do, praise them for talking about it.  This minimizes the chance of a child experiencing isolation or shame, and allows you to take next steps together.

If a child is being sexually exploited online, please notify local law enforcement (911) and submit a report online via NCMEC’s CyberTipline.   In addition, you are welcome to telephone our office and pursue support and guidance from a Program Coordinator specializing in support services for online exploitation.