By Alejandra Okie
One in three girls and one in five boys will be sexually abused at some point in their childhood. As a parent, you want to do everything to protect your child. In addition to teaching your children about stranger danger and how to protect their bodies, you can do a search to know if there are any convicted sex offenders in your neighborhood.
Search for sex offenders in your neighborhood
There are many websites that charge you money to do a search for sex offenders. But you can do a complete search for free using the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender Public Website. This database has public record information on sexual predators and sexual offenders convicted for a crime against children.
To use the National Sex Offender Public Website, follow these 3 easy steps:
2- Enter the words/numbers shown on the screen (CAPTCHA for website security)
3- Search by last name/name, zip code or by city
Every state has a public registry website with information about registered sex offenders. Even though they provide information to the National Sex Offender Public Website, you can also search your state’s public registry website.
Talk to your child about sexual abuse.
In most child sexual abuse cases, the child knows and trusts the abuser (neighbor, friend, relative, etc.). Talk to your child about not letting any adult or child touch their private parts, force them to have sexual relations, take inappropriate photos or have sex-related conversations on the phone or by text. Learn more about talking to your children about protecting themselves from sexual abuse. Link to Stacy’s article.
If you know or think a child is being sexually abused, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1 (800) 422-4453. If you need help right away, call 911. You can also find an advocacy center in your state that offers support and services to victims of child abuse on the National Children’s Alliance website.
Photo: Davide Cassanello