Keeping our children safe

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 27, 2007

In the Sunday edition of The Times-Journal, local officials gave tips on keeping your child safe from sexual predators.

Most of these were common sense, such as knowing where your child is or telling your child to never hitchhike or accept a ride from a stranger.

And most of the tips were aimed at keeping children safe from strangers.

Email newsletter signup

While it is important to teach our children to be wary of strangers, it’s also important to note that not all acts of sexual abuse are perpetrated by a stranger.

Some statistics show that 30 to 40 percent of victims are abused by a family member. Another 50 percent are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust.

Approximately 40 percent are abused by older or larger children whom they know.

Therefore, only 10 percent are abused by strangers.

Most victims don’t tell even when asked about abuse.

So it’s important that parents recognize behavioral changes, such as physical problems, eating disorders, sadness, substance abuse or a drop in grades.

It’s also important to keep open communication with your child. Let them know it’s safe for them to talk to you.