Alicia’s Story

Last week we launched our national Internet Safety 101SM Program. The press event (which you can watch in full on Ustream) featured footage from the DVD teaching series and compelling testimony from some of those included throughout our program.

Alicia Kozakiewicz, now 21, shares her story about Internet victimization at the national launch of Internet Safety 101

Today, I am posting an excerpt from Alicia Kozakiewicz, a survivor of a sexual predator.

At 13, I was lured from my home by a sadistic Internet predator who held me captive, chained, and tortured.  It was a million to one shot against my recovery, but by the grace of God, I was rescued.  I was gifted with a miracle-with my life, and with a mission, sharing my experience, so I might spare others the agonies that my family and I have endured.

My abduction ended with the best possible outcome of the worst-case scenario.  But, in actuality, my abduction began long before this man physically touched me.  It began 8 months earlier. It began the very day we first made virtual contact, when the predator, discovered in me those vulnerable characteristics for which predators search.  Shy, naïve, and, curious like most children, like your own, I was confused by the societal pressures which increasingly demanded a sexual maturity for which I was completely unprepared – and defenseless against.

In the course of our online relationship, this man was able to befriend the young girl I was through his constant online presence and feigned support, and by answering my hesitant questions.  Through that incredibly effective process of Internet grooming, he impaired my ability to rationalize.  He molded me byte by byte, slowly twisting me into someone I was not.

And throughout this process, I was alone, my parents, like most, recognized the net as an incredible educational tool, but were clueless and unable to speak the digital language in which their children were daily becoming increasingly more fluent.  Most barely knew how to turn on the computer let alone install a program to monitor activity or search the history.  This lack of parental educational preparation – the cultural disconnect – has allowed children unprecedented freedom.

Had there been a training tool like “Internet Safety 101” this horrible tragedy may not have befallen my family.  For in any scenario, parents remain their children’s first line of defense.  Sadly, as mine weren’t armed with knowledge …neither was I. Had my parents been made aware of the incredible power of the web, they would have been able to better prepare me, and to harness those web monitoring safety softwares to stand guard in their absence.

There is a quote that my mother lives by: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”  She and my father are here with us today – to join Enough Is Enough in their mission to do just that: To protect America’s families with Internet Safety 101.

Most Internet-initiated crimes against youth are preventable.  When it comes to the threat of online predators, we encourage parents to use Rules ‘N Tools®—technical and non-technical safety measures to protect the children under their care and to talk with their children about their online activities and friends.  Watch out also for the warning signs that could indicate your child is at risk. We are so thankful that Alicia shared her story to help educate parents about the threat of online predators.  You can watch her full story here, which is also featured in our Internet Safety 101 program, and you can also watch Alicia and EIE President Donna Rice Hughes on Fox & Friends.  Our hope is that together, we can protect children from these dangers they should never face so they are able to enjoy a safe and rewarding online experience.

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5 Comments

  1. My soon to be ex husband changed my pin code on all my e-mail add, His name is Thomas Joseph Hiney of Jonesboro, I know he still accesses my pages and i told a lifetime of abuse in my story, I today fear this man, He took all my memoirs and everything i built for myself an me having to go to the Domestic Shelter after he Abused me, I am slowly rebuilding my network again, I have only my Faith and with that in toe i plan onn moving mountains. I have petitons at go petitions.com for the children please if you will sign them. I too say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and with Unity In Diversity We can Make this Better. God Speed Cheryl

  2. Thank you for the courage you have for telling your story.
    God bless you for your strength in advocating for the millions of young who unwittingly become a part of the internet pedophile world. Our story is very similar…
    God blessed us with a miracle and we have moved forward…sadly the animal that stole my daughters youth and innocents will be on the streets again next year. Laws need to be tougher and educating parents and children alike is the first step.
    God bless and remain vigilant.

  3. Help Our Children

    Thank you Alicia for not staying a victim, but becoming an advocate for children everywhere. We need more people out there like you to stand up and take on these predators.

  4. Alicia,you came to my school,and when you told us how many kids went missing everyday I found myself almost in tears.And hearing your story even made me more inspired to make posters,forwards(on a cellphone) and alot more.And if it wasnt for you speaking out against the people who do these sorts of twisted things more children would be gone everyday.Thank you for doing this I look up to you so much.You inspire me in everyway.I want to teach people how dangerous online can be.Your my role model:).Thank for teaching me how horrible it can turn out or how blessed you can be at the end.Godbless you Alicia……

  5. One problem is that children don’t seem to have any problem posting private and personal information about where they live, what school they go to or even putting videos or pictures of themselves online. A lot of kids will openly get into conversations with strangers they have met online. Then another statistic says that 1 in 5 children say their parents have not discussed anything with them about staying safe online. Every person needs to really understand how crucial parental controls are for kids on the internet.

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