On Guam, there have been a total of 29 sexting charges from 2012 to Feb. 17 2016 according to the Judiciary of Guam’s Safe and Drug-Free Schools Project.
Project Foresight, a relatively new organization in the community, is helping to eliminate the problem of cyberbullying and sexting on island.
Project Foresight is a non-profit organization that helps shine light on cyberbullying and sexting. The program is affiliated with the coalition of Family Violence and Sexual Assault.
Project Foresight originally began as a practicum project for a spring 2016 course at the University of Guam Master’s of Public Administration program.
The organization organizes community outreach events at local shopping malls and fairs. They also go to middle schools and high schools to talk about their organization and provide awareness training in sexting and cyberbullying.
Rachel Flores, chairperson of Project Foresight, explained how the FBI is one of the primary stakeholders of Project Foresight.
“The FBI came forward and asked if we can help put a “den” in the norm and help eradicate sexting and cyberbullying because it is a federal crime,” Flores said.
Flores said this is how she and her classmates became inspired to pursue a practicum project that could tackle the issue.
“We decided, lets do a whole awareness campaign and will have commercials and PSAs on the radio,” Flores said.
“We’ll gather research and information stats and build a local database where we can reach out to local agencies here on island to get everybody aware about the situation because, unfortunately, it happens on Guam more often than we think but its not publicized because its dealing with minors and the most negative consequence that has happened was suicide.”
She then explained that the project became bigger than what she thought and she started receiving positive feedback from the community that they continued on with the project even after they all graduated.
Project Foresight also reaches out to parents and informs them about what Project Foresight is about.
“When you give this kid an electronic device, you’re giving them access to the world and all the information that is on the internet,” Flores said. “You don’t realize how much they know how to use it.”
“Parents should look for signs of any dangers like internet predators and to monitor their child’s internet activity and to see who are the friends. If they say they are 13 years old they need to make sure it is a 13 year old on the other side instead of an adult who is being a predator,” Pocaigue said.
Patrick Pocaigue is a general member of Project Foresight and a student at UOG majoring in criminal justice.
Pocaigue spoke about how parents should also look for signs of any dangers, such as internet predators.“Especially the younger kids who are using a piece of technology that is so advanced compared to when the computer was introduced years ago,” Pocaigue added.
“This is an organization we’re trying to keep alive just for the benefit of the community,” Flores said. “We don’t benefit from this in a monetary, compensation type of way. We’re not trying to get anything out of it.”