Advancing Health and Sanity in your Life and Homes
Our times have both beautiful advantages and abundant cautions. The internet is a great tool and resource, but like most things it also has its dark side.
One of the best ways to protect your family’s internet is by using your router to manage web traffic. You can easily set your router to block unsafe or objectionable content.
- Clean Browsing offers a free plan that is easily setup and implemented, offering protections from malicious websites, adult sites, and more.
- Open DNS is another simple solution.
- Traffic through your router will then be able to block the content you choose. (Cellular networks and other wi-fi networks will still be able to download any content without other protections enabled.)
- Covenant Eyes is a widely used program that helps individuals struggling with internet content and accountability issues to have accountability for their time. This program has many workarounds for those who grow savvy with it. But it does provide a high level of protection and accountability for those who take it seriously.
- Integrity Restored is also an excellent resource.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans has implemented a website to help with awareness and health in Internet issues, A Clean Heart.
Fr. Sean Kilcawley with the Diocese of Lincoln Nebraska has undertaken an exhaustive accounting of resources available for parents, children, singles, et cetera. It can be found via the following Tools for Parents:
Safe Environment Issues
Following is a summary of the legal issues surrounding Child Abuse in Louisiana. The internet, cell phones, social media, and various platforms of the multi-billion dollar pornography industry, all provide an ample opportunity for predators seeking any children upon whom they may prey, even unwittingly. Children and minors need information, and discussions with parents and one another as they grow in wisdom, understanding, and prudence.
The Louisiana Children’s Code defines child abuse as follows:
Art. 603. Definitions
- As used in this Title:
- (1) “Abortion” means that procedure as defined in R.S. 40:1061.9.
- (2) “Abuse” means any one of the following acts that seriously endanger the physical, mental, or emotional health, welfare, and safety of the child:
- (a) The infliction, attempted infliction, or, as a result of inadequate supervision, the allowance of the infliction or attempted infliction of physical or mental injury upon the child by a parent or any other person.
- (b) The exploitation or overwork of a child by a parent or any other person, including but not limited to commercial sexual exploitation of the child.
- (c) The involvement of the child in any sexual act with a parent or any other person, or the aiding or toleration by the parent, caretaker, or any other person of the child’s involvement in any of the following:
- (i) Any sexual act with any other person.
- (ii) Pornographic displays.
- (iii) Any sexual activity constituting a crime under the laws of this state.
- (d) A coerced abortion conducted upon a child.
- (e) Female genital mutilation as defined by R.S. 14:43.4 of the child or of a sister of the child.
Sexting is a crime amongst and/or including minors. For a minor to send a sexually explicit image of themselves to another minor is a misdemeanor. If that image is then sent to any other person, it is a felony. It is also a crime to send sexually explicit images from non-juveniles to minors, and/or to federal officers posing as children – and yes, that happens often.
Aside from obvious moral issues involved, explicit images of children can often find their way into the wrong hands. For those who’ve had their explicit images appear online, some help is available via the Take it Down website.
Clergy, and adults working with our children, are Mandatory Reporters and are required to undergo training, according to Louisiana State Law. Training is required in order to work with children. Parents and others are Permitted Reporters, and may make reports to either the Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), or the local police non emergency number. The St. Tammany Parish Special Victims Unit responds quickly and professionally to any such reports.
The DCFS provides a handy summary of Child Abuse and Child Trafficking reporting resources.
The following document notes the information necessary when giving a report of suspected child abuse. No proof/evidence is necessary, no investigation needs to be undertaken prior to reporting. One is not obliged to report to one’s supervisors prior to reporting. Suspicion only needs to exist, however it is a crime to report falsely – with no reason to have suspected abuse is happening, or has happened.
If the abuse/incidents happen within a home, or by a caretaker, DCFS is notified. In any other setting, local law enforcement is notified. In emergency situations, dial 911.
Other resources include:
- call or text the Childhelp abuse hotline on 800-422-4453 or visit their website for more resources and to report child abuse or DM for help.
- For adult survivors of child abuse, help is available at ascasupport.org.
- Other sources of help can be found at Child Helplines International
Stay safe out there! +