YPAD (@ypad4change) on Instagram: “ALERT-YOUTH DANCERS, PARENTS AND DANCE PROFESSIONALS-PLEASE SHARE WITHIN YOUR DANCE COMMUNITIES!…”
YPAD has recently received reports that several young dancers have been aggressively targeted by Instagram accounts featuring flexibility. YPAD has reported these accounts to Cybertipline and IG and investigators have been assigned. In order to keep the investigations uncompromised we are unable at this time to give you the exact names. Law enforcement will have a better chance of not just shutting these pages down but catching the perpetrators of these pages if the pages are still active. We know that is frustrating and we share that frustration with you. However, YPAD can share with you the solicitation tactics so you can better educate yourself, students and children. Please share this post if you are able. This can be very traumatic to the child, teen and families and we want to help others not go through this. Our sex-abuse specialist Svava Brooks was able to read and review the photographs and exchanges. She considers this to be a what is called “non-contact child sexual exploitation”. The groups reached out to child and teen dancers and asked if they want to be part of a “flexibility challenge.” They then asked for privately messaged photos in different poses to demonstrate flexibility in order to qualify for a feature, insisting that the photos be “done all by yourself no help” (giving instructions on how to use the camera so that no one else needs to be in the room). They instruct the dancer to concentrate on photos showing a middle split and may also ask the dancer to “zoom in” on different body parts. After several exchanges, they ask the dancer to start removing clothing so they can “see the flexibility better.” If the dancer asks questions are begins to appear uncooperative the perpetrator starts up become more aggressive. In the cases we know of, luckily the dancers have ended the interaction prior to removing clothing. However, it is unlikely these cases are isolated incidents – our fear is that they have targeted other children and teens who may not have told an adult yet.
For help: https://report.cybertip.org/