Oct 27, 2010 7:21 PM by John Romero

Protecting kids from sexual predators

Two arrests this week have forced the issue of child sexual assault to the forefront. In both cases, 44 year old Theodore Robbins and 22 year old Wilson Chilel-Lopez were accused of sexually assaulting children they babysat.

Experts say before leaving your child with someone it's important to do your homework. "Know a little bit about them." explains Tammi Pitzen of Safe Passage, a child abuse advocacy group in Colorado Springs, "Request a background check on them" We all teach our children to look out for strangers, but experts say It's also crucial to let them know that it's ok to say no to a trusted adult. "We need to tell them that it's ok if an adult that we know and love is asking us to do something that we don't want to do, or that we've talked about places that they shouldn't be touching, that it's ok to say no." says Pitzen.

As far as adults, there are a couple of signs of danger to look for. Do they prefer your child's company over adults? Do they baby sit multiple kids for free? Do they try to make alone time with kids? "Sex offenders and predators know how to groom your child to the point where the child will trust them and be alone with them." explains Sgt. Steve Noblitt with CSPD.

At the end of the day your best defense against a sexual predator is to have good communication with your kids. Just a little talk can make all the difference. "Listen to what they have to say and you may catch something that startles you." says Noblitt. "We need to make sure that we're letting our children know that we love them and that we're giving them attention and that we were listening to them." adds Pitzen, "I think that's the key, listening to them, so they feel comfortable coming to talk to us if something has happened."

CLICK HERE for the Safe Passage website



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