Sexual predators are smart and very cunning individuals. They are the people you would least expect to commit such crimes. Sometimes they are well respected people in the society who develop elaborate schemes and go to great extent to get access to their victims.
It is vital that you are aware of sex offenders in your area who have been caught and convicted in order to take the necessary precautions. However, you should be careful that you don’t focus too much on those criminals who have already been caught. This may give you a false sense of security that could lead to more vulnerability to predators who are free and roaming.
You need to trust your instincts when you are with or near someone you are not comfortable around. This can be hard for both adults and children who were taught to be polite and respectful of others. Do not talk yourself out of feeling uncomfortable or being alone simply because they are an acquaintance of a friend that you know. Most sex abusers are people that the victim knows very well. Be cautious of friends or people who make unwanted physical advances and ignore your protests that you do not like their behavior.
Talk with your children about personal safety issues and warn them not to talk to strangers. Inform them that it is wrong for adults to engage them in any form of sexual activity. Stress to them that if they should not feel uncomfortable telling you anything that involves another adult. If your kid is not comfortable being honest with you, then together you should get another adult that your child can talk to in confidence. Strive to know the people that your child interacts with. Knowledge is power when it comes to protecting kids from sex predators.
Advise your teenagers as well; adolescence is a scary time for children and this is the time when they are at risk for sexual assault. Prepare them for the possibility of getting involved in risky behavior and educate them on the dangers of sexual assault. This danger is enhanced when they are using alcohol and drugs. Encourage them to trust their instincts and if a situation makes them uncomfortable, they should walk away. Stress to them that they can always talk to you if they have been hurt or they are scared.
You should also talk to your teens about the harmful effects of adults preying on children. A 15 year old may see it as a compliment when a 20 year old pays them attention, but it is a crime punishable by law. Stress the importance of staying within their own age group when socializing with friends. More information at www.cityofeve.com