INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 22, 2015)- It’s a simple and strong message every kid needs to hear from a grown-up.
“These are your private parts. Private parts mean they are your own and nobody is allowed to touch them,” explained Toby Stark, Executive Director at Chaucie’s Place.
Child advocates are encouraging parents to have a talk with their kids about sexual predators. The discussion needs to start as soon as kids are able to talk.
“As you`re touching your child, changing their diaper, washing them in the tub say things like ‘OK I`m going to touch your private part now’ or as they get older 'Is it ok that I touch your private part to wash?’” explained Stark.
In just the past week, three men have been arrested for some type of child sex crime. One was a middle school math teacher in Seymour. Another suspect was a Hartsville deputy town marshal. The most recent arrest, a Shelbyville man, who investigators are calling "the most prolific disseminator of child porn in Indiana."
“It is statistically impossible that it is not happening in your neighborhood, your congregation, in your family, in your zip code,” explained Stark.
Warning signs that a child may be sexually abused:
- Sudden change in child’s behavior: including change in grades
- Inappropriate sexual knowledge: using words that a child their age shouldn’t know
- Regression: including bed wetting or fear of going to someone’s home
“Follow your guts instincts. Everybody always has the question in their minds ‘what if I`m wrong, what if I’m wrong’ Well, I need to remind you what if you`re right,” explained Stark.
In Indiana, every single adult is legally required to report an allegation or suspicion of abuse.
In most cases, a child won’t tell a grown up about it. So if a child does tell you something, chances are they are telling the truth.
“If we won’t step over that discomfort and have these conversations then we are simply putting our children at risk,” explained Stark.