STRANGER DANGER – but sadly they are not always strangers.

Last week we mentioned those horrible statistics of 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 8 boys being sexually abused before they turn 18. And these are only the reported stats – they’re probably much higher than this.

SCARY FACT: Pedophiles are mostly people who come across as very likable souls. They are friendly and engaging.

The sad truth is usually predators are most often hidden in plain sight.  This means that ninety per cent of the time they are people you know and trust.

But really they are sneaky weasels who target their victims very carefully. They select their victim and then make a plan to get the child (and their family) comfortable with them before they strike.

They go to the same church, schools, sports and other activities and spend time chatting to you and your kids.

They specifically look for those individuals that have issues. Like kids looking for extra attention or love. They pick on shy children or those who might lack confidence. They look for loners who could be longing for friendship.

Yes – it sounds much too calculated to be true – but this is often how it happens.

They ingratiate their way into your family, bring the child little gifts and shower them with attention. They look for any opportunity to be alone with the youngster. Often this might seem like a very generous gesture and you can’t believe how nice somebody is being in your time of need. Beware! They could have ulterior motives.

Predators often hug and kiss your kid a lot and “accidentally” walk into the bathroom when they are in the bath or on the toilet. They also test your child to see if they can keep a secret.

Do not let this happen!

  • Encourage open communication in your household. Your children should be able to speak up when they don’t feel comfortable about something. Kids know long before adults do.
  • Have a “no secrets” policy. They don’t keep secrets for anyone or from anybody, ever.
  • Allow your children to choose who they kiss and hug. Don’t force them to kiss smelly old Uncle Fred hello just because he is family. Paedophiles are often family too.
  • Set boundaries. Make sure your kids know what those boundaries are.
  • Be a visible parent. It’s hard to abuse your kid if you are always around and involved.
  • Trust your gut – if something does not feel right, it probably isn’t.

Protect your kids please people – don’t let them become statistics.


Keep your kids safe!

Last week was World Health Day – it is one thing to stay healthy by eating and exercising – but it does not help if you have a healthy body and get yourself into an unhealthy situation!

There have been a number of scary incidents around the country recently where people have tried to steal children – in some case from right under their parental agent’s noses. How crazy is that?

Sadly child trafficking is alive and well and happens much more that we would like to think.

Here are a few simple rules to help keep your children safe:

  • Teach your kids about different types of strangers. You do not want your children to think that everybody they don’t know is a bad person. There are different types of strangers. People who try to tempt children with sweets or stuff to lure them into cars are BAD! Adults who ask kids for help are also BAD.
  • Don’t let them run away from you in the shops or a public place. It’s not cool for them to hide – it gives you a heart attack and it gives some nasty weasel the opportunity to snatch your kid.
  • Teach your kids to STAY WHERE THEY ARE and shout YOUR NAME if you get separated. They should not shout “mummy” because some other kid might also be having a meltdown and be yelling the same thing. Sounds silly – but make sure your kids know your name. Teach them not to run up and down looking for you because that will make the situation worse.
  • Tell you kids to look for a HELPFUL person if they do get totally lost or something happens. A policeman, a teacher, a shop assistant or another mum or dad with a pushchair or kids of their own with them.
  • Impress upon your children that they should NEVER EVER get in a car with a STRANGER. No matter what story the person tells them.
  • If somebody tries to grab them – it really is okay to shout, kick, scream, bite or do whatever they can to get away.

But even worse… people that you know and trust are often the worst offenders when it comes to abusing kids.  Research shows that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 8 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18. Totally horrific!

We’ll cover that topic in next week’s blog.

Kids are precious – keep them safe please.