Our hope is that by bringing awareness and education about sextortion to our community, we can start the necessary conversations that need to happen, as well as begin the steps in preventing more children from becoming victims of this heinous crime.Cathy Brittis, MSW
In our increasingly digital world, we rely on the internet in virtually all aspects of life. Unfortunately, criminals have also learned how to use the internet to their advantage—and this includes child predators. To keep children protected, it’s essential that parents, caregivers and kids be equipped with the knowledge of how predators operate and steps to take to be safe online.
Dartmouth Health Children’s, in collaboration with the Lebanon Police Department, the Grafton County Attorney’s Office, the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Grafton and Sullivan Counties and Upper Valley WISE, will host a screening of a documentary titled “Sextortion: The Hidden Pandemic” on Tuesday, December 13. The term “sextortion” refers to instances when a predator threatens to publicly release inappropriate, sexual pictures of children in exchange for sexual favors or money. By unsealing the federal case of a predator with hundreds of victims, and interviewing survivors and their parents, this true-crime piece exposes an often overlooked crime against children, the tactics of online predators, and the voices of law enforcement agencies poised to stop online child exploitation in its tracks.
Immediately following the screening, an expert panel discussion and question and answer session will take place with representatives from the Lebanon Police Department Cyber Crimes Unit, the Grafton County Attorney’s Office, CAC and WISE.
“The traumatic impact that online grooming is having not only across our nation, but here in our local communities, is devastating,” said Cathy Brittis, MSW, program director of CAC, which is part of the Child Advocacy and Protection Program of Dartmouth Health Children’s. “Sextortion can happen to any child. It is a crime that happens where young people feel the most safe—in their own home, on their own device—with a person who uses manipulation and control to gain a child’s trust to send that initial image. This increases the embarrassment, guilt, and shame that helps to keep them quiet. The offense is serious and the traumatic impact on the child’s life is severe. Our hope is that by bringing awareness and education about sextortion to our community, we can start the necessary conversations that need to happen, as well as begin the steps in preventing more children from becoming victims of this heinous crime.”
This screening will be held at 6 pm at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Auditorium H, located at 1 Medical Center Drive in Lebanon. Doors will open at 5 pm. The event is free to the public, but registration is required. To register, click here.
Please be advised that this documentary contains sensitive topics such as human sex trafficking, exploitation of minors, and suicide. Ages recommended for this screening are ages 10 and older. Parental guidance is advised.
To learn more about “Sextortion: The Hidden Pandemic,” visit https://sextortionfilm.com/.
About Dartmouth Health Children's
Dartmouth Health Children's is the only comprehensive pediatric healthcare system in the region. Fully integrated in Dartmouth Health and anchored for more than 30 years by Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (CHaD)—in Lebanon, NH—Dartmouth Health Children's promotes health, advances knowledge, and delivers the best patient and family-centered care for infants, children, and adolescents across New Hampshire and Vermont. Dartmouth Health Children's conducts groundbreaking research and educates the next generations of health professionals as the primary pediatric partner of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Highly skilled and collaborative child health professionals provide care in multiple settings across the region. Outpatient specialty visits and same-day surgery services are available at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (CHaD) and Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics Manchester. Primary care appointments in general pediatrics are available at Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics in Bedford, Concord, Lebanon, Manchester and Nashua, NH and Bennington, VT; as well as at Dartmouth Health members: Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital, Cheshire Medical Center, New London Hospital and Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center.