The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Offender list creates false secure feeling

Viewpoint by Martina Treviño/nw news editor

Don’t let the fact that registered sex offenders are on lists and have their pictures published in the newspaper or posted on the Internet lead you into a false sense of security.

Statistics prove that the majority of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. A U.S. Department of Justice survey shows that a non-stranger perpetrates 73 percent of sexual assaults—in fact, it estimates that 38 percent were friends or acquaintances and 35 percent were relatives of the victim.

Although it may be hard to believe, the statistics prove we must be just as vigilant with those we know, love and trust as we are with strangers. Parents and educators are cognizant of teaching children they must be careful of strangers; however, it is necessary to teach children to beware of those we know.

The Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry gives two tips parents can use to prevent or decrease the chance of sexual abuse.

First, they must let their children know if someone tries to touch their body and do things that make them feel funny, the children have the right to say “no” to that person and should tell the parent immediately.

Second, parents should teach children that respect does not mean blind obedience to grown-ups and those in charge. They need to know that it is okay to say “no” to teachers, baby-sitters, clergy or anyone else who wants them to do something that hurts them or makes them feel weird. 

Let children know they are the owners of their bodies, and do not force or push them to kiss or hug someone they obviously do not want to.

Parents must be cautious and observant. They must watch the behavior of the child and of the adults they come in contact with and the child’s response to adults. If the child runs to welcome Uncle John, and cousin Joe, but runs and hides when Uncle Jacko comes to visit, the parent needs to find out why.

Children who are abused may develop some of the following behaviors: They may have an unusual interest in or avoidance of things of a sexual nature. They may have nightmares or sleep problems. They may act out in a seductive, secretive or aggressive manner. They may refuse to go to school or the sitters, and they may become withdrawn, depressed or suicidal.

Parents should try to discover the root cause of any major behavioral change in their child.

Sex offender lists are useful tools, but only complete awareness can protect our children.

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