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The Simple Marriage Prayer That Will Put Your Focus On God

"When we pray these words, we are acknowledging that He is in control of us, and we are not in control of each other. It is offering our own will in exchange for God’s will."

Dear ‘Good Parents’: This Is How You Miss the Signs of Sexual Abuse in Your Child

How do good parents miss child sexual abuse? It is simple.

Twins Found Floating Face Down in Backyard Pool. 6-Yr-Old Who Can’t Swim Dives in After Them in Bold Rescue.

“They were completely gone, there was no life left in them. They were blue. They were limp. There was no heartbeat. There was nothing."

Mom Uncovers Pedophile Ring That Instagram Refuses to Shut Down & Your Kid Could Be In It

First off, my story is not unique. I’m a mom. A Navy veteran. A wife. A Photographer. A Videographer. A Marketer. Okay, I wear a lot of hats. I have been very active on Facebook because I enjoy sharing pictures, videos, stories with friends and family who are literally all over the world.  It’s a great thing. I have my Facebook page set on private and I always give myself special rules before I let a new person into my online life:

Do I actually know this person?

Do I want to have a relationship with them?

Do I want to see their content?

I block people who post things that are disturbing to my life only because I want my social media feed to be uplifting and a happy place.

Courtesy of Andrea Van Wagner

Now, hang in there.

About two months ago, I made the leap and also got an Instagram account for my photography business. I have clients whose businesses I market online. It got me thinking. I probably should do the same for my own, right?

I slowly started posting pictures of some photo shoots I did with my son’s team. Soon, I started getting some attention online, mainly by other sports photographers and wrestling parents. And then I saw that someone by the name of ilikestrongkids50 ‘liked’ my son’s picture. I went to his account and saw that it was private, so I put in a request to follow. Hey, if you’re looking at my pictures, only fair, right? Then, I forgot about it.

Courtesy of Andrea Van Wagner

My youngest son, Cole has been wrestling for just under a year and he absolutely loves it. He’s made many friends that he spends 6 days a week with. He pushes himself and his teammates to each other’s limits. I couldn’t be prouder of him for all the work he’s putting in and the growth he’s gone through as a person over this past year. To win tournaments (and lose) is very emotional for him and his team as they become stronger together. I’m the team photographer and videographer during every tournament, and I love capturing these moments.

August 2nd and 3rd was a huge tournament in San Diego hosted by RMN on the San Diego Broadway Pier, and championship rounds were actually on the flight deck of the USS Midway!  There were 2,000 wrestlers from 5 to 18 years old that competed from all over the country.  My son was looking forward to that tournament for a long time. I snapped some fun team pictures before, during, and after the event. Unfortunately, he lost two of his matches and was eliminated, but he showed such maturity and growth that day in how he handled his loss. It was such a fun event, and I immediately put up the shots on Instagram to show off these unique pictures.

Courtesy of Andrea Van Wagner
Courtesy of Andrea Van Wagner

Then, I randomly remembered I put a request to follow that ilikestrongkids50 account and decided to check the profile…

Immediately when I opened this person’s account, I felt like I was punched in the stomach. It was late at night after I was done editing and posting pictures, so I didn’t want to wake up my husband. There’s nothing wrong with these pictures alone, but there is something wrong with the context. There were over 4,000 posts of kids with their shirts off. The girls had bathing suits, but 90% were boys from the ages of 6-12. Then, I noticed that my son’s picture from the tournament just a couple days before, as well as the picture I took of his team, were on there. I checked to see if there were any descriptions on these pictures and there were none. No backlinks to the original posters. My son’s pictures (and another teammate of his) were downloaded and posted on the page.

I thought, okay. Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe it’s another kid that wants to post pictures of strong kids to motivate them or something (I don’t know). But then I started really thinking about this. Why in the heck would anyone download thousands of pictures of kids? So, I started really digging into the people that this account follows. This person was following 1,891 accounts of kids and sports photographers. All of these other accounts look like they were started by a parent to show off their child’s achievements, show them flexing their arms and muscles. Nothing pornographic, just really innocent. And these accounts were open accounts, non-private. These were the accounts from which this person was taking content from without permission, without the parents even knowing – like me.

Then, I started digging into the 461 followers. This is where I wanted to throw up. They were mostly older, adult males with fetish pages. These men are following thousands of little kids’ accounts (mostly prepubescent boys) and commenting some vile things. I immediately started taking screen captures of the followers and the followed of this account. Then, I messaged him.

‘Why did you post two pictures of my son and thousands of half-naked kids on your site?’

He replied back, ‘I don’t post porn.’

‘Why did you start this Instagram account?’

He immediately blocked me.

Let me tell you, I could not sleep. I was scared to tell anyone about this. I was sure everyone would be angry that I didn’t protect these images from an online predator. The team parents would be upset. I felt so guilty. Again, I could not sleep. I stayed quiet the first day and mulled this over. Somehow, this was my fault.

I decided to report it to Instagram. I had to get on my older son’s Instagram. Yes, my older son has an Instagram account that was ONLY on my phone and only I knew the password. We, together, would post some of his amazing artwork and no pictures of himself, and made it private. I used his account to get back onto the creep’s account. He instantly let me back in.

The Simple Marriage Prayer That Will Put Your Focus On God

"When we pray these words, we are acknowledging that He is in control of us, and we are not in control of each other. It is offering our own will in exchange for God’s will."

Dear ‘Good Parents’: This Is How You Miss the Signs of Sexual Abuse in Your Child

How do good parents miss child sexual abuse? It is simple.

Twins Found Floating Face Down in Backyard Pool. 6-Yr-Old Who Can’t Swim Dives in After Them in Bold Rescue.

“They were completely gone, there was no life left in them. They were blue. They were limp. There was no heartbeat. There was nothing."