1. Learn how to recognize a possible pedophile.
These are some ways to recognize a possible pedophile:
- A pedophile is usually an adult male.
- A pedophile is usually married
- A pedophile gets along better with children than adults.
- A pedophile may work in places where there are children; such as camps or schools.
- A pedophile may take photos or collect photos of children, with or without clothes on.
- A pedophile may try to attract children with candy, pets, drugs, or alcohol.
2. Pick an adult “trust buddy,” an adult that your child can trust and talk to.
The trust buddy can be a parent or guardian, a teacher, or a guidance counselor. If anyone, a grownup, a friend, or a family member, tries to get your child to do something that he or she thinks may be wrong, your child should talk about it with the trust buddy right away. If someone tries to make your child do something that makes him or her uncomfortable, it may lead to getting hurt. Talking to an adult your child trusts will help.
3. Always go places with a friend.
Whether your child is walking to school or going to the mall, they should always go with a friend or parent. Your child should never leave that friend behind. If they go together, they should stick together! Make sure they walk in areas that are well lit, and do not take short cuts. Always make sure you know where they are going and when they plan to be home or picked up. Children should never hitchhike.
4. Children have a right to say no.
Convey that if someone tries to touch your child or asks your child to touch them in a place that makes him or her feel uncomfortable, such as in their bathing suit area, it is okay for them to say “No!” Even if that person is a babysitter, neighbor, coach, or teacher. Your child’s body is special and only belongs to him or her, so no one should touch your child if he or she does not want to be touched. Let your child know it is okay to tell on that person so they do not do it again. Even if your child is afraid that person will hurt his or her family, they should always tell. This does not make them a “tattle tail.” Reassure your child that you, their teacher and/or guidance counselor will work to protect them and their family.
5. Ask before accepting anything.
Sometimes a person may buy your child gifts or take your child to special places. This person may be your parent’s friend, a coach, or a club leader. No matter what, your child should always check first with you, the parent or guardian before taking a gift or accepting an invitation. Remind your child that it is never okay to accept a gift in order to keep a secret. Some secrets are fun to keep, like a surprise birthday party. But if the secret makes your child feel scared or uncomfortable, or involves your child or someone else getting hurt, be sure your child knows to tell his or her “trust buddy.”
6. Run from danger.
Your child should never get in the car with a stranger, and never get in the car with anyone unless you, the parent or guardian tell the child that it is okay. Children should walk away from strangers who ask for directions, or tell them they have a message from their parent. Adults should not be asking children for directions. Children should walk away from strangers who use pets, candy, or other things to get their attention.
If someone is following them, they should walk or run as fast as they can away from them.
If someone is following your child in a car, he or she should turn around and walk in the other direction. Be sure your child understands he or she should let you, the parent or guardian know what happened. If someone tries to take your child somewhere, he or she should run to the nearest safe place such as a school, a store, or home. Your child should yell loudly, “You’re not my mom/dad!” and should not stop yelling until he or she is safe.
Make sure your child memorizes emergency numbers or stores them in his or her cell phone. If your child does not have a cell phone he or she should keep these numbers written down and always keep them with him or her, also your child should keep change to make a phone call at a phone booth.
7. Be careful on the computer.
Be sure your child never gives out his or her name, address, school name, telephone number, or picture. Giving out information such as the team he or she plays on or practice schedules can help someone figure out where your child lives. People online may try to trick your child into giving out his or her personal information and use that information to find your child. The “child” your child is chatting with could really be a 40-year-old pedophile. Be sure your child knows to check with you, the parent or guardian before meeting with cyberfriends. Your child should never send pictures of himself or herself to cyberfriends without your permission. Your child should keep his or her buddy list set to private, and never talk to someone he or she does not know online.
Let your child know If he or she reads anything on the computer that makes your child feel uncomfortable, he or she should tell you right away.