CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A North Carolina mother recalls says she was horrified to discover her seven-year-old daughter’s character on the gaming app ‘Roblox’ was being forcibly raped by other characters.
That mother, still shaken, wants to make other parents aware of the dark side of the popular game that touts 64 million active members, many of them children
Roblox allows you to create your own character, and build or enter in to user-created worlds.
“I never in my wildest dreams would’ve ever imagined that I would have to talk with my seven-year-old about rape,” Amber Petersen said.
She still can’t shake what she saw on her daughter’s phone Thursday.
“One of them picked up her avatar and threw it to the ground,” she recalled.
What happened next, and the screenshots Petersen took, are too graphic to show or describe. But it involved several characters forcing themselves – and their cartoon male anatomy – on the seven-year-old’s avatar.
“Once I was able to make the avatar move away one of the boys was able to grab her and throw her back down on the ground and keep doing it,” Petersen said, her pained voice cracking
She did a little exploring in the game herself after that – taking additional screenshots as she discovered even more rooms and worlds dedicated to violent sex.
“One guy comes up to my daughters avatar and hold a knife to her throat and slit her throat, there was blood everywhere,” Petersen said.
That as another child’s character was sexually assaulted as the user typed, ‘I’m scared.’
“It really kind of turned my world upside down as a parent,” Petersen said.
She shared the experience and the photos on Facebook Friday, hoping to warn other parents that the app may not be as kid-friendly as it seems.
NBC Charlotte reached out to Roblox about the incident, and a spokesperson sent us the following statement:
“We were outraged to learn that Roblox's community policies and Rules of Conduct were subverted. We have identified how this bad actor created the offending action and are putting additional safeguards in place to reduce the possibility of this happening again in the future. In addition, the offender was identified and has been permanently banned from the platform and we have suspended the game. We have zero tolerance for this behavior. Our work to ensure a safe platform is always evolving and remains a top priority for us.”