Internet safety focus of Hanscom workshop

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Hanscom Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office officials held an event here Jan. 16 to address the topics of human trafficking, child exploitation and applying internet safety at home.

The event took place as part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month observed annually in January.

“Human trafficking and child exploitation is a worldwide issue and undermines the most basic rights of an individual,” said Jersouk Touy, Hanscom’s SAPRO program manager, who organized the two-hour presentation.

Among those on hand for the workshop were Hanscom victim advocates, local law enforcement officials and members of the workforce.

Touy, who also serves as the sexual assault response coordinator at Hanscom, discussed the workshop’s focus.

“Human traffickers use the internet as a way to target and exploit people, particularly young people, for their own personal gain,” she said. “Law enforcement officials provided information for attendees to be mindful of when using the internet.”

While the workshop addressed overall internet safety, it showed the way criminals can exploit children with mobile apps such as social media platforms.

“Teenagers are at risk of cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate material, online predators and innocently revealing too much personal information,” said Touy. “These risks can result in dire consequences.”

Carolyn McCafferty, Hanscom’s community support coordinator, who attended the event, highlighted that Hanscom Helping Organizations are working together to educate teens and parents at Hanscom.

“Issues such as these take a multidisciplinary approach to raise awareness and provide prevention programs,” said McCafferty. “Our team has planned events in February and April to reach these members of our community.”

Officials recommend the following steps to reduce the risk of exploitation.

“Keep the home computer in a high-traffic area of your home, establish limits for children, monitor cell phones and gaming devices and continually talk to children about internet safety,” Touy said.

She also highlighted the importance of talking to your children about who they connect with through social media sites.

The interactive website,, provides age-appropriate resources to teach children and parents how to be safer on- and offline. The website assists parents and guardians, educators and law enforcement.

“The fact that we’re taking the opportunity to educate ourselves on what’s happening out there is really important,” said Col. Chad Ellsworth, installation commander, who also emphasized his policy on using the internet to exploit others.

“As the installation commander, I will not tolerate this activity by any member of Team Hanscom,” he said.

After his remarks, Ellsworth signed a National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month proclamation.

For further information, contact Touy at 781-225-3541 or visit to learn about internet safety.