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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Mother alarmed by man asking son questions in gaming chatroom

Syrian says inappropriate material online is very dangerous to children and she now restricts her two sons’ use of the internet

Raldah Bourhan started taking a greater interest in the media her son Elaf, 12,  consumed after finding out a man was asking him questions in a chatroom. Satish Kumar for The National
Raldah Bourhan started taking a greater interest in the media her son Elaf, 12, consumed after finding out a man was asking him questions in a chatroom. Satish Kumar for The National

Raldah Bourhan said she realised the dangers of online pornography when her 12-year-old son Elaf started asking inappropriate questions after visiting a shady website.

The mother of two from Syria said she was also alarmed to find that a man had been chatting to her son on a gaming website.

“We are living in a time when pornographic imagery and ­materials are readily available to very young children,” said the 38-year-old, who lives in Sharjah. “Once, I found a website that contained images, games and videos for children, but on the site was a video showing people partying, drinking alcohol and even performing sexual acts. It’s unbelievable,” Mrs Bourhan said.

“This is very dangerous.

“Pornographic materials could influence children’s ­attitudes towards relationships and lead them to engage in risky behaviour.

“Many times, my son was searching online for games and videos. He would type a name of a game or a character and pornographic materials were shown instead.

“Now I restrict his use of the internet, but Elaf already knows everything about sex because of the internet.

“I just do not understand what kind of human being would involve cartoon characters in sexual practices.”

Mrs Bourhan also said that her son complained to her about a man chatting with him on a games website.

“Elaf came to me and told me that there was a man asking him about his age, home location and whether his mum works,” she said. “I spoke to the man and threatened to report him to the police. Later on, I found that this man was luring kids through these chat­rooms on an online game.

“Thankfully, my son usually asks about things he’s uncertain of or unable to comprehend.”

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Read more:

Warning over effects easily accessible online pornography can have on children

Punishments for offenders of UAE’s Child Protection Law include 10 years in jail

No jobs with children for child abuse, pornography offenders, says new law

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