I was just reading an article by a teacher who was giving the ever important reminder of stranger danger. And especially internet stranger danger. And while I think it is essential that children and teens understand the importance of stranger danger and internet safety and all of that, I think what is equally important to focus on is “people we know danger” (I know, it doesn’t rhyme or anything, I’ll work on it).
I currently work in the sexual abuse field. My organization works with kids in the county up to age 18 who have been sexually abused or there is concern that sexual abuse took place. This includes witnessing sexual abuse and any kind of internet crimes that are sexual.
Part of my job is reporting to our granting agencies, as well as the government, the statistics of our center. Most of my 2015 reports were due on the 15th, so I spent the last week buried in numbers. One of the statistics we track is the victim’s relationship to the alleged offender. Guess what percent of victim knew their alleged offender. 100%. Yup, every single child somehow knew their offender. No strangers, but people they trust.
Now this is just one county, but the national statistic is not far off. The National Center for Victims of Crime state: “Only 14% of children who suffered sexual abuse were violated by an unknown perpetrator”.
Please make sure your children know their rights. Make sure they know they can talk to you. Make sure you listen to them. Without judgment.