As we continue to ride out the coronavirus pandemic, our children are spending more and more time online and on platforms such as the Zoom Meeting platform – but how do we know our kids are safe from all the threats that are out there in these virtual spaces?

The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office is hosting a workshop tonight (Thursday, Jan. 21) that will look at how to best protect our children as they spend more time in virtual spaces. Also working in partnership to bring this workshop to you is MassSupport, the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office, and two children’s advocacy centers.

The workshop gets underway at 7 PM. You do need to register ahead of time for this event. You can register HERE.

This is a description of the workshop according to its registration page:

In Massachusetts, law enforcement statewide report that online crimes against children have more than doubled since the pandemic started. MassSupport, along with our guests from the Suffolk and Berkshire DA’s offices and two children’s advocacy centers, wants to help parents/guardians and professionals keep children safe. We will examine specific trends in the Commonwealth as well as focus on the threats and realities from popular games, apps, websites, and how technology can put K-12 children at risk. The difficult but important topics of sexual exploitation, sextortion, grooming, and trafficking will be discussed. Practical information will be provided on: developmentally appropriate conversation starters, understanding sexting, privacy settings, and monitoring software. A wealth of resources will be shared at the event and provided to everyone who registers via Zoom. This webinar features speakers from the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office, Berkshire County Kids’ Place, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County.

There will be three speakers tonight: (You can read their full bios on the registration page.)

Mary Beth Dawson, MPH - Outreach and Training Manager @Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County. Mary Beth oversees training for professionals and community members to increase awareness about child abuse and empower participants to respond appropriately to child abuse when it has occurred.

Mary Beth Dawson, MPH


Jacquelyn Lamont - Director of Youth Safety @Office of the District Attorney of Suffolk County. In addition to her role as Director of Youth Safety, Jacquelyn Lamont is a forensic interviewer in the Child Protection Unit and works on cases involving physical and sexual abuse and the exploitation of children.

Jacquelyn Lamont


Nakeida Bethel-Smith - Victim Witness Advocate @Berkshire District Attorney's Office.
Rev. Nakeida Moria Bethel-Smith has been working as a community activist through her current professional work as a Victim Witness Advocate, Child Forensic Interviewer, and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Coordinator.

Nakeida Bethel-Smith

Register for this event HERE.