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Online Sextortion of Children: Why Predators Seek Explicit Images and Intervention Strategies for Victims

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Online Sextortion of Children: Why Predators Seek Explicit Images and Intervention Strategies for Victims

Children nowadays are digital natives, meaning they have never known a time where the internet didn't exist. Daily use of the internet, especially social media, has made children subject to online exploitation. Sextortion, the act of threatening to share nude or explicit images for gain, is a world wide problem and is only growing in its scope and number of victims. Children, particularly adolescents, are vulnerable to this type of crime. It starts simply enough, a child responds to an online request to expose parts of their body on a webcam or send a nude photo to a new online “friend.” The next thing the child knows, their new friend threatens to expose them by publicizing the photos, unless they pose for more explicit photos or send money. Children don't know where to turn or what to do and the shame and embarrassment keeps them quiet. Participants of this course will learn about online sextortion, how it is different from sexting and how the impact of sextortion is traumatic even though it is typically a "hands-off" offense. Participants will also learn clinical intervention strategies to work with children that have been victimized by the predators that carry out these crimes. This training will include a mixture of PowerPoint slides, lecture, and video examples.




Date: Friday, April 5th, 2024

Time: 10:00am-12:15pm CT

/Check-In: 9:45am CT

                          Location: Training Institute at Washburn Center for Children

                                            1100 Glenwood Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405

                         Price: $40

                         Credits: 2 CEUs*

                                     *Approved by MN Board of Social Work || Pending approval by MN Board of Psychology, MN Board of

                                      Behavioral Health and Therapy, & MN Board of Marriage and Family Therapy



Bonnie Brunette, MSW, LICSW (she/her/hers)

Bonnie Brunette (she/her/hers) joined Washburn Center for Children in 2023. With over 25 years experience in the field of childhood trauma and mental health, Bonnie has worked as a forensic interviewer, clinical supervisor, internship coordinator, individual and group therapist, and advocate. She is trained in various treatment modalities including EMDR, TF-CBT, and play therapy.

Bonnie received her Bachelor of Social Work degree in 1998 from Illinois State University and Master of Social Work degree in 2001 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to her current position, Bonnie worked in the Victim Services Division of the FBI for 7 years. Bonnie has taught national and international trainings on various topics related to abuse, neglect, exploitation, human trafficking, and sextortion and has testified as an expert witness for entities including the United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Army.

Bonnie is also a huge Jeopardy! fan and was even selected to try out for College Jeopardy! in 1998, but sadly was not selected because she couldn’t get the timing of the buzzer thing right.

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