Director of the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center, prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD delivered a plenary lecture on September 17, 2019 in Ljubljana under title” Sexual Abuse and Exploitation: Interview with Children, Interventions and Protection of Children in the Age of Modern Technology”. The lecture was held as part of the 9th conference on child abuse in the online world at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. The conference was organized by the Criminal Police Directorate, the Center for Safer Internet in Slovenia and the Association of Informatics and Telecommunications at the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce. The hall was attended by more than 200 participants from the police, prosecution, courts, social services, NGOs, education, health and the business.  All of them focus on child protection and their best interests in their work focus.

Conference program 

Introductory speeches

  • Bostjan Poklukar, Minister of Internal Affairs
  • Bostjan Lindava, Director of the Criminal Police Directorate GPU
  • prof. Monika Kalin Golob, PhD, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University in Ljubljana
  • Nenad Sutanovac, Director of the Association of Informatics and Telecommunications at the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce

 

Lectures

  • Sexual abuse and sexual exploitation: interviewing children, intervening and protecting children in the age of modern technology prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD, Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center
  • The Directive on the protection of victims. What does this mean in practice? Katarina Vucko, Peace Institute, Ljubljana
  • Digital dangers: risksof young people and the challenges of preventing and actions dr. Jeffrey DeMarco, the Center for Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS), University of Middlesex, United Kingdom
  • The treatment of perpetrators of sexual criminal acts (between the court and public opinion). Dr. Dragan Petrovec, Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana
  • What advise parents, when they are their children caught up and online incident Marko Puschner, Safe.si (the point of awareness of the safe use of the Internet), Faculty of Social Science, University of Ljubljana
  • The abuses are keeps into the brain and body Tina Bregant, PhD, MD pediatrics, Spec. physical and rehabilitative medicine, MAES therapist, head of seminars FamilyLab
  • LOGOUT & SPEAKOUT- coping for sexual abuse of children in practice Spela Reš, Logout – Center for help and treatment of Internet addiction 

During the plenary lecture delivered by our Director prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD, she pointed out that every fifth child is a victim of sexual abuse and that only one in ten report abuse. There are several reasons why a child does not disclose abuse: fear that no one will believe what the abuser himself may have convinced, fear that he or she will be blame of what happened, shame, guilt, or fear that he or she will be held responsible for family destruction. Various forms of child abuse are also presented, where sexual abuse using modern technologies holds a special place. Regardless of the form of abuse, when a child chooses to disclose abuse, an adequate response is crucial, and unfortunately it is often absent. Information should be collected as soon as possible after the event, with open-ended questions in which the child is free to speak. In the second part of the lecture, the director presented to the participants a way of conducting a forensic interview, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the NICHD protocol, which includes getting to know the child, establishing relationships, examining episodic memory, moving on to issues relevant to the case, case research, pause, finding information not mentioned by the child, unless the child mentions expected information, disclosure information, conclusion and conversation on neutral topics.

Special attention was given to the ubiquitous so-called. sextortion. Namely, sexual abuse of children occurs not only in the form of physical contact with a person, but also with the help of modern technologies, so-called is blackmail online and involves various forms of threat, usually the threat of posting or forwarding sexually explicit photographs of the victim if she/he does not respond. In most cases, sensitive content is voluntarily sent by the victims themselves, at the so-called grooming and in which they trust the person on the other side. But sextortion can be the result of breaking into a device and stealing photos of the victim. Half of the victims do not want to confide in anyone about what is happening to them because they experience fear and shame. They are afraid that they will get in trouble because they voluntarily send content for which they were later blackmailed. Of those victims who take the courage and report what happened to them, only a third reveal blackmail to parents, seek help online or from their peers.

The conference had a great attention in the Slovenian media:

RTV Slovenija: Posljedice virtualnog nasilja koje osjećaju žrtve su veoma stvarne

Delo: U svijet spolne zlouporabe uvlače ih kroz igru

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