- Learn the facts and understand the risks. Realities – not trust – should influence your decisions regarding your child.
- Minimize Opportunity – “If you eliminate or reduce one-adult/one-child situations, you will dramatically lower the risk of sexual abuse for your child.”
- Talk About It – Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it.
- Stay Alert – Don’t expect obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused. Signs are often there but you have to spot them.
- Make a Plan – Learn where to go, who to call, and how to react.
- Act on Suspicions. A child’s wellbeing may depend on it.
- Get involved.
- A predator doesn’t look like the “boogeyman.”
- Molesters are typically NOT strangers.
- They use deliberate tricks and ploys to gain a child’s (or our) trust.
- Someone who repeatedly ignores social, emotional or physical boundaries or limits.
- Someone who singles out one child as a “special friend”, lavishing them with a lot of extra attention, gifts, flattery – developing an age-inappropriate relationship with that child.
- Someone who often insists upon or suggests a lot of uninterrupted “alone” time with a child.
- Someone who refuses to let a child set any of his or her own limits.
- Someone who insists on hugging, touching, kissing, tickling, wrestling with or holding a child even when the child does not want this physical contact or attention.
- Someone who shares inappropriate personal or private information with a child, that should normally by shared with adults only.
- Someone who frequently points out sexual images or tells inappropriate, suggestive stories or jokes with children present.
- Someone who seems overly interested in the sexuality of a particular child or teen, and talks repeatedly about the child’s developing body.
- Someone who appears to be “too good to be true”, frequently offering to baby sit different children for free; taking children on special outings alone; often buying children gifts or giving them money for no apparent reason – especially an adult who does not have children of their own.
- Someone who frequently walks in on children/teens in the bathroom.