Parents often remind their children to be wary of talking to strangers, lest they encounter someone with a bad intention who will abuse them. Most sex predators, however, are not strangers to children as they are more likely individuals they interact with regularly.
What can parents do to keep their children safe from sex predators who are relatives, friends of the family or acquaintances like coaches, instructors and teachers? As April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, this matter is a timely subject to discuss among families to raise awareness.
Parents, first and foremost, are expected to take an active part and be present in their children's lives. They need to be aware of their kids' activities as well as the people involved, according to NJ True Jersey.
It would also help if parents volunteer to these activities so they can observe what's going on first-hand. They can also encourage other parents to take an active part and volunteer as well to boost community-building, as per the Children's Administration (CA) in Washington's Department of Social and Health Services.
If possible, parents should make specific inquiries about staff members and policies in these activities before allowing their children to join. Parents also need to be observant. Are instructors or coaches spending private times with students more than usual?
Parents might also want to monitor their children's social media or online presence. This isn't about spying on the children. Rather, it's about ensuring that they are not taken advantage of.
Education helps in raising awareness, which in turn leads to prevention efforts. So, parents need to have a real talk with their children about the red flags or how they should also take care of their bodies.
Parents might also want to organize discussion and support groups in the neighborhood in a bid to educate other people. They can talk about the signs, indicators and effects of sex abuse, in the physical manifestations and emotional changes in children, as per the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
They can also invite police and other experts to speak to the group to compound awareness further. Learn more about child sex abuse prevention tips in the video below.