From daycare and after-school programs to athletics and clubs, we trust our kids with quite a few people. The Penn State case has many parents asking, "How do we know who we can trust?"
"It's heartbreaking even thinking about it,” concerned mother Geneva Orlando said.
"It's always a concern about what's going on in the locker room, where there's no parents,” concerned parent Kimberly Pitts said.
11 News spoke with Jan Isaacs Henry, who runs the non-profit Kidpower of Colorado Springs, about ways to keep your kids safe. Kidpower offers classes to help teach kids how to protect and speak up for themselves.
She told us number one know who is taking care of your kids, check their background yourself, and keep an eye out for things in a person's behavior that should set off an alarm.
"You want to watch out for someone who singles out kids for private relationships,” she said. “They want to be alone with that child. It's not that all people that want to be alone and care about children are bad people. But, that's a warning sign if they single out kids."
She says people we least expect, like those in positions of trust, can still be offenders. In fact, if you want to know what a child molester looks like, you can look in the mirror--they look and act just like the rest of us.
"Even if the person has a really good reputation, or they're part of an institution that has a really good reputation--you need to check them out,” the executive director of Kidpower said.
Her other advice: teach kids not to keep secrets from you, not just bad secrets, but even things like adults giving them gifts or doing them favors. She notes that people trying to abuse children will often test kids to see who are willing to keep secrets from mom and dad.
"We want to teach kids that they should not keep secrets about anything that bothers them—about problems...gifts, favors,” she said.
She also reminds people to put kids' safety before your own concerns about embarrassing or inconveniencing someone, or yourself, by reporting any suspicions you have.
"We want adults to know that they need to speak up if there's a safety problem, and persist—and follow through,” she said.
Remember, most abuse happens with people victims know.
KKTV firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKTV 11 News.
If you believe that any of the comments on our site are inappropriate or offensive, please tell us by clicking “Report Abuse” and answering the questions that follow. We will review any reported comments promptly.powered by Disqus