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Alicia Kozakiewicz (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Internet safety

A woman’s story of how she was kidnapped at 13 by a pedophile she met online

By WITW Staff on March 12, 2016

Alicia Kozakiewicz has written a personal account for the BBC of how she was kidnapped at age 13, after slipping out of her home in Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day to meet someone she had been chatting with online for eight or nine months. Alicia thought her online companion was a boy her own age, but waiting for her was a man who would kidnap her in his car and drive her all the way to Virginia. There he chained her to the floor of his bedroom with a locking dog collar, and raped, beat, and tortured her for four days.

Kozakiewicz was rescued after her kidnapper broadcast himself abusing her online and one of his viewers recognized her from missing posters and called the FBI. The FBI was able to track the kidnapper’s IP address to the house where they found Kozakiewicz.

Kozakiewicz says she and her family realized a factor that led to her ordeal was that no Internet safety education was being taught in schools. So at the age of 14, Kozakiewicz started going to schools to share her story, and now, nearly 14 years later, she is continuing that same mission, as well as advising families on Internet safety. She is also working alongside Protect to secure the passage of Alicia’s Law, named after herself, which provides a dedicated stream of state-specific funding to Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces.

Read the full story at BBC News.