|Jerry Sandusky was caught having sex with a 10-year old in 2002 and is being charged with 40 counts of acts against 8 boys over a 15-year period|
Parents need to be armed with information on how to protect their children from pedophile and predators like Paterno. Child specialist, author and expert Dr. Brenda Schaefer offers these 7 solid tips for parents, which I included in my post today in my Washington Times, Communities section blog Politics of Raising Children today talking about this issue.
1. Educate yourself and child. 88.5% of sex offenders knew their victim. 8-10% of boys (believe this is conservative as boys often do not talk about or think it is normal exploring), 12-25% of girls experience sexual abuse prior to 18. Testosterone in boys increases dramatically from onset of puberty-1000% and he has 5 to 7 surges of testosterone in a day making him vulnerable to sexual predators.
2. Ensure safety by knowing who a child is with especially on trips or overnights and stay involved in their activities.
3. Avoid any one person having unsupervised time with your child. Notice if they invite child to their home or have a special interest in children same or other sex. Do background checks.
4. Notice changes in child’s behavior or mood after spending time with a specific adult. There is some research showing that brain alterations may occur. Sex abuse can lead to over-excitation of the emotional brain and affect the memory part of the brain. The child can begin to dissociate as it has to separate the two realities.
5. Develop a solid, trusting and fun relationship with your child. Know your child’s vulnerabilities such as low esteem, depression, isolation, etc and get professional help when indicated. Perpetrators feed off of them.
|Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew Sandusky was a pedophile|
7. As a parent be alert and if you suspect abuse be proactive as the child will often deny the abuse. The long term affects of sex abuse can be devastating.