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Almost a Third of Teen Girls Have Met with an Online “Stranger”

In a new study, 30 percent of teen girls admit to meeting with an “Internet stranger,” a person they first met online. The girls agreed to meet without knowing the actual identities of their online acquaintances. The study did not collect information about what happened after these meetings, but it emphasizes the risk that comes with interacting online. Meetings like these put teens at risk of becoming victims of sexual assault, abuse, stalking, and other crimes. Researchers say the danger is greater for girls who have been victims of abuse or neglect at some point in their lives. These girls were more likely to take risks online and present themselves in a provocative way. This made them, in turn, more likely to be targeted. The next time you connect, think about how much sharing is too much, and be careful to set boundaries. Online actions can have real world consequences.  

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Barbara Reynolds is a Long Island Regional PTA Board Member and recently installed SEPTA (Special Education Parent Teacher Association) Board Member.  She sent the quoted email to a list of residents and parents shortly after being installed as SEPTA board member.
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