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Monday, 22 October, 2001, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Internet 'wrecking marriages'
A growing number of marriages are being destroyed as a result of affairs started through the internet, according to research by BBC Wales.

In a special report broadcast on Monday, Welsh language current affairs programme Taro Naw featured representatives from relationship counselling agency Relate, who have serious concerns about the issue.

Computer mouse
Internet relationships: 'Easy' to keep secret

The programme heard from several people whose partners had left them for someone they met through chat rooms on the net.

Many of those interviewed have been left as single parents after the break-up of their relationships.

Relate has said it is a very difficult problem to deal with since it is easy to keep relationships conducted on the internet a secret.

American-born Maggie Darner began an affair with her partner Tim after meeting via an internet chat room.

Later she moved to Gwynedd from Texas after he had left his wife.

Internet regulation

The report also explored the more sinister aspects of internet chat rooms.

Many are sexually explicit and easily accessible for children, adding weight to calls for more internet regulation.

"The Taro Naw team were very surprised at the volume and explicit nature of the response to their search for a partner on the internet," said programme editor Geraint Lewis Jones.

"It also raises serious questions about the need for supervision of chat lines which are so easily available to youngsters."

Taro Naw is broadcast at 2100 BST on S4C

See also:

26 Apr 00 | UK
Chat room danger warning
01 Nov 99 | Education
Chat room threat shuts schools
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