Social Media Sexual Exploitation Prevention & Response: Resource Hub for Parents and Families

Online sexual exploitation of children is an urgent and exponentially growing problem. Recent research shows 1 in 3 children can now expect to have an unwelcome sexual experience online before they turn 18. Despite the risks, 97% of children use social media and the internet every day, and 1 in 5 use it “almost constantly.” Parents often don’t know the risks or feel unable to keep their kids safe on social media. 

ParentsTogether has created and gathered accessible, evidence-based resources for parents and caregivers to help them prevent and respond to sexual exploitation on social media.


Talk to Your Kids

Frequent, honest, and trust-building conversations about sexual risks and harms online between parents and children can help keep them safer online. Here are some resources for talking to your kids about this topic:

Scripts for Parents: Talking to Kids About Sexual Abuse and Safety Online

Don’t know how to talk to your kids about the big, complex topics around sexual risks and safety online? We have a Scripts for Parents series that gives you concrete talking points to help guide these tough but important conversations.


Learn About the Risks

Parents are struggling to figure out how to navigate a fast-changing landscape of devices, apps, and new technologies. To better understand how parents, kids, and families are experiencing sexual abuse online, we survey families and ask about their experiences. Here’s what they have told us:  

In 2023, ParentsTogether surveyed 1000 parents across the U.S. to better understand how parents experience this problem. 


Here are some of the most important things we learned:

  • Parents reported online sexual exploitation on every major social media platform
  • 1 in 3 children are exposed to social media before they turn 5
  • 43% of children exposed to inappropriate sexual content on social media are under 13; 1 in 5 are 9 or younger
  • A stranger has contacted 1 in 3 kids online, 47% of whom are under 13.
  • LGBTQ+ kids are sexually exploited online at 3x the rate of their peers.
  • Disabled and special needs kids are sexually exploited online at 2x the rate of their peers.
  • 95% of parents support legislation to regulate social media companies


Remove Your Child’s Explicit Content


The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has a free service to help people who have images or videos of themselves nude, partially nude, or in sexually explicit situations taken when they were under the age of 18 that they believe have been or will be shared online. If your child or someone they know is concerned about explicit content of theirs being shared online, they can get help.


Take Action

Parents are leading a growing movement for online safety and accountability for the tech platforms putting children at risk. Bipartisan bills, which would require tech companies to design products with children’s safety and wellbeing in mind, are being considered in states across the country. Parents are also demanding platforms take direct action to turn off dangerous features like location sharing by default, protect children’s privacy online, and make it harder for predators to find kids on social media. Click below to take action.