Child advocacy center on protecting your child from potential predators

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 10:30 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Multiple people were arrested in Central Alabama this week on child pornography charges.

No matter the scenario, whether it’s school, church, sports or clubs, your children will be around other adults without your supervision at some point and it’s important to know how to protect your children from potential predators.

“We see all different kinds of kids, including, unfortunately, victims of child pornography and children who are in the home with people who have been found with child pornography as well,” said Rachel Dawson, the victim advocate for Prescott House Child Advocacy Center.

It’s a situation no child should be in. Dawson says organizations should have policies to ensure child safety.

“There should be no one on one contact, private, with an adult and a child,” Dawson explained as an example. “There has to be a rule of two children and one adult or two adults and one child to make sure that that is prevented, that doesn’t present an opportunity at all for anything bad to be happening.”

She adds that parents should be checking these protective protocols are set in place and enforced.

“Knowing that these places are doing background checks on the teachers and on the people in power. I think that really makes a difference,” said Dawson.

Besides checking on an organization’s rules, Dawson says parents should enforce rules in your home too like limiting your child’s time on their cell phones, especially at night.

“They might not be the most popular with their kids but in the long run, but they’re being a parent to their kids and protecting them from people that they have no idea even exist but are targeting their children,” she added.

Most of all, Dawson says building trust with your child is key. They encourage parents and teachers to keep the link of communication open so the kid will feel comfortable confiding in them.

Dawson says if a child admits some kind of inappropriate behavior with an adult, immediately call law enforcement or the Alabama Department of Human Resources to report the incident.

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