Just found out my 11 YO is texting with a person she met on a dating website

(615 Posts)
AgentZigzag Sat 22-Sep-12 23:04:33

I want to start out by saying I take full responsibility for not checking her phone and seeing this earlier, I thought we had a sensible and responsible daughter and I've allowed myself to be misled by that thought.

She left her hotmail account open on my computer about a two hours ago, and I had a nose through her in and out box and found a change of password email from this teenage dating website. (it's always been made very clear to her that I could and would look through her electronic communications and history, although this was said a while ago)

I went to the site and found she had a fucking profile on there! And messages to and from other 'people'.

But there's one specific profile who she's contacted more, he's given her his phone number, and I presume she's given him hers, because we've just looked on her phone and they've been fucking texting each other!

In her email account she's sent him photos, of some drawings etc, but things that are obviously from a child.

He's sent her a photo of himself (which she thought she'd deleted, but I managed to get it back).

On the texts, and there are a fuck of a lot of them -

-She's told him she's 13

-Lots of talking about wanking and masturbating (even after she's told him she's 13) - which she asked me about yesterday because she didn't know what it meant, and you can see from the texts she's got no idea WTF he's talking about.

-She's tried ringing him tonight shock she's text up to 10 to 1 at night, and from 7 in the morning.

-She's been texting him all day today - when we've been there with her!

-He's actually messaging her NOW!

I'm holding DH back from texting him to say something, because I need some advice. DH is talking about the police (if there are any of the MN bobbies I know use MN, is this that serious do you think? Is it exaggerating thinking this is a 'man' grooming what he knows to be an underage child?)

I really do feel ashamed we haven't protected her from this. We're so aware of shit like this, we honestly are, and when they're 9/10/11 YO everything seems so open and you've told them the rules and think they understand.

We got the phone for her on a contract two weeks ago because her old one broke in the summer holidays and we wanted her to be able have an OK one for secondary school (which she's just started doing the 35 minute walk to and from every day).

I'm angry for letting myself trust her and her breaking it, and for not checking her phone sooner. I don't know where to go from here. Obviously she's not got the phone and I'm looking through her email accounts (she's got two, but I can't get into one).

And what should we do about this 'bloke/man/teenager' who's texting her stuff now? Ignore him, block him?

FFS, I'm just reeling, please tell us what you think.

SkinnyMarinkADink Sat 22-Sep-12 23:25:36

theas18 <<<<<<<<<<< Exactly as she says.

WorraLiberty Sat 22-Sep-12 23:27:45

Azz can you ring the number tomorrow from her phone and see how young/old he sounds?

AgentZigzag Sat 22-Sep-12 23:28:12

Am I right to consider the effect any police involvement would have on her? She's naive and will know by the end of it how bad what she's done has been, but in a new school and she had trouble with bullying at primary which has followed her a bit to this one, I'm loathe to fuck her head up more.

But then if he is an older man on the look out to groom a child, he won't stop, and now we know we're complicit (is that the right word?) in him carrying on if we don't report him?

Goonatic Sat 22-Sep-12 23:28:17

Look at ceop website, how scary, very sorry for you.
It does sound like grooming, you DH is right but he mustn't alert the person u til you have had a chance to report them. Police too maybe?
Show her this in the morning, click on the top one
scary

AgentZigzag Sat 22-Sep-12 23:28:55

Even if he's 13/14 himself, his parents would want to know wouldn't they? I would.

TheOneAndOnlyMaryZed Sat 22-Sep-12 23:30:17

dd is 16.

She is a very sensible, mature (I thought), trustworthy, nice teenager. She has never done anything bad or wrong, she never lied to me, she never took drugs/drink/anything.

And then suddenly I catch her skyping (with pictures hmm) some guy she hardly knows.

I have no idea how she could be so stupid. And nor does she.

When I discussed it with her she ended up sobbing and shaking - she just didn't think it through.

Even at 16 she was so fucking innocent. And he was such a shit angry

lisad123 Sat 22-Sep-12 23:30:22

Police are used to dealing with children and will be very careful and make it clear none of this is her fault.

AgentZigzag Sat 22-Sep-12 23:30:43

Worra, DH wants to block his number and ring him now to see how old he sounds, but wouldn't that give whoever it is a head start? If we went to the police we'd have to say we've rung him.

heyannie Sat 22-Sep-12 23:31:00

If he is 13/14 he might be mortified and grow up a bit when his parents find out and the police give him a bollocking, so it can only be a good thing.

Goonatic Sat 22-Sep-12 23:31:51

Ps it still scares me now and I have watched it loads of times. It is exactly what she will need to see. You are a very aware mum!

AgentZigzag Sat 22-Sep-12 23:32:05

Thanks for the links as well.

thornrose Sat 22-Sep-12 23:32:39

At a primary school I worked at the office got a call from a man claiming to be the uncle of a year 5 girl. The man informed the office that he was authorised to collect her from school that day. It all sounded very suspect and after calling her mum and confirming there was no such "uncle" we discovered that he was someone she had met on the internet. It was so scary it still sends shivers down my spine. It's so hard to believe your own child could be at risk if you think you have been careful.

TheOneAndOnlyMaryZed Sat 22-Sep-12 23:33:01

Sorry, x-posted.

Call the police. If he is an older man, you might have stopped something really bad happening to a child.

If he is 13/14, they won't arrest him, and it will do him no harm to realise that he needs to be more careful/sensible.

If your dd is doing it for the same reason dd is (lack of confidence, wanting to be admired at school, wanting to be one of the in-crowd) it won't actually make any difference if you call the police or not.

Can you spend some time/get her to talk to someone to realise that she is worth so much more than this (something I'm struggling with for dd, tbh).

Ullena Sat 22-Sep-12 23:33:33

Police, just go to the police with this! Avoid contacting whoever it is as you could risk tipping them off that something has been found out iyswim.

QueenofJacksDreams Sat 22-Sep-12 23:33:38

Agent I don't think the police involvement is going to mess with her head especially if you take the time out to sit down and talk with her about why you're having to do this but I understand why you're worried. Let her know how much this scared you and why its wrong that its fine to have boys as friends but when things take a sexual turn she needs to come and talk to you. You're her protector, you're there for her just keep reinforcing that.

If he's 13/14 I would want to know so I could put a stop to the behaviour before he gets himself into more trouble and does something that he'll regret for the rest of his life. It may be that he's an immature child but he needs to know its wrong maybe he doesn't have parents as worried for him as you are for your DD and not teaching him the rules as well. Its better that he learn them now then end up hurting someone and with a jail sentence for naivety.

Shakey1500 Sat 22-Sep-12 23:33:45

Crikes Agent what a bolt. Yes, I agree with playing safe, keeping the phone and contacting the police.

PopOozeTheFastest Sat 22-Sep-12 23:33:46

Oh dear. I really feel for you & your DD.

My best friend recently told that me that her DD (my god-daughter) had been caught exchanging VERY explicit text messages with someone who claimed to be a 30 yr old man from Oregon. DGD is 13, and has been very open about her age. There are even texts saying things like "god, you are so mature for 13. Can't wait to you". I kid you not. The police are investigating, (much to DSD's embarrassment, but it has to be done) and strongly suspect that the man is much closer than Oregon!

petrifiedperson Sat 22-Sep-12 23:34:46

You've caught it in time. She hasn't been hurt. That's the main thing. And it isn't your fault!

I would definitely involve the police.

wine and thanks for you, you must feel shattered

Dawndonna Sat 22-Sep-12 23:35:00

Please don't ring him. If he is 'dodgy' he'll just move onto somebody else. Leave it to the police. Text him and tell him it's bedtime so that he doesn't get suspicious, if you don't want to call the police tonight. Otherwise, just call them now. They really won't mind.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Sat 22-Sep-12 23:35:55

You have to report this. You can not be watching her all the time, its difficult you want to give your children some freedom to allow them to grow up yet there are so any dangers o nthe Internet

I agree even if he is young this kind of talk is disturbing and his parents should know

ImASpecialSnowflake Sat 22-Sep-12 23:37:18

I haven't read the whole thread just the first page. I would involve the police. If it turns out to be a teenage boy then perhaps he will be lucky to get a good warning about appropriate behaviour but if it isn't...

My neice is 17 now but when she was 14 she became "involved" (despite what her parents thought was super strict supervision) with a 'boy' on a social networking site who had sent pictures of 'himself'. He tripped himself up, I won't say anymore but he turned out to be a man of 27.

I wouldn't risk NOT involving the police.

puds11 Sat 22-Sep-12 23:39:06

Oh my god Agent i can't imagine how you feel. I have a DD and this sort of thing really puts the shits up me.

I would re-enforce to her its not her fault, and maybe try (without scaring the shit out of her) why your concerned ie. say your worried he might not be who says he is, could really be a girl, older etc. without saying he could be grooming her.

Is there anyway you could text him in the same style as her and try and glean some more info?

AgentZigzag Sat 22-Sep-12 23:40:22

I've been through the internet rules with her on and off since she first started using it, they go through it at school, and if either of these didn't go in, I would have thought (before tonight) that she'd have the nous to know that what she was doing is wrong and dangerous.

She says she hasn't given out our address, but if she thought it was OK to text this bloke what else has she done?

AgentZigzag Sat 22-Sep-12 23:41:20

And the stories about similar happening are frightening, you think it's something far away, prepare for it not to be, but never actually think your DC would do it.

Tigglette Sat 22-Sep-12 23:42:19

It's definately worth contacting the police, regardless of the age of the person your dd's been contacting, she's only 11 which means sexualised contact would automatically be considered an offence. If it's someone close to her own age it's likely police would explore what supports they might need as well as what they've done so you wouldn't necessarily be bringing trouble to their door. If its an older teen or adult the police would take appropriate action but you don't know what you'd be getting into contacting them direct.

There's some excellent stuff out there re the dangers of Internet contact and grooming - have a look at thinkuknow.com or ceop, the childline website has some very good resources re online safety as well as a secure message board if she wanted to get some peer support for what is surely a sore learning for her. Well done on catching it so early.

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