3 Steps to Avoid Summer Camp Sex Assaults
As we're fully in the midst of summer, parents are sending their kids off to summer camp, swim lessons, and football camp.
But instead of a time of innocence and fun, these summer camps are now more frequently associated with child sex assault and crime.
Still, you can't shelter your children forever, and you will eventually have to let them out into the world. If you send your children off to camp, these following three tips can help ensure that another Jerry Sandusky does not abuse your children, reports The Baltimore Sun.
- Talk to your children. Tell your children about sexual abuse and let them know that it is out there. Describe to them some of the grooming tactics that may go on, and when touching is inappropriate. Make sure your lines of communication are open, so you're children will not be afraid or ashamed to tell you of suspected abuse.
- Ask hard questions of the school/camp/etc. Ask staff if they've been trained on spotting sex abuse. Ask if any staff members have been arrested or even suspected of abuse. Know the program's policy on reporting abuse and know what situations your child may be left alone with an adult. If you don't like the answers you get, or if the organization is not forthcoming, go to a different camp.
- Report suspected abuse. You don't need to be absolutely certain that someone is abusing children to report them. As long as you have good intentions and have some reasonable belief, you should make the report. It is up to prosecutors and the police to determine with certainty whether abuse has occurred -- not you.
Don't let a potential Jerry Sandusky ruin your child's summer camp plans. Sex assaults do happen, but steps can be taken to protect your children.