Expert: Communication key to preventing sexual abuse

Expert gives parents advice on how to prevent sexual abuse
Expert gives parents advice on how to prevent sexual abuse

Experts warn child predators often work hard to make themselves appear to be something they're not.

Almost all teachers, coaches, and people who work with or spend time with kids do it for the right reasons. But there are some who have ulterior motives.

Most child molesters are not the predator at the playground.

The National Child Advocacy Center reports more than 90 percent, it's someone the victim and the victim's family knows.

"Individuals who want to sexually abuse children will utilize whatever they have to do in order to gain access to children," said Executive Director, Chris Newlin of the Child Advocacy Center.

Newlin says convicted child molesters reveal in interviews, they often set the groundwork over time, and not just with their victim.

"It's not just about that individual and a child. It's about really how that person is grooming the community. For people to think that they're really a quality person who has good intentions that's just a cover for what they really want to do, which is engage children in sexual contact," adds Newlin.

He as lo says the best weapons to protect your child; information, conversation, and education.

"When it's quiet and hidden issue. That is fertile territory for them."

The allegations against Huntsville teacher Harvey Knotts, Newlin says is a reminder of the potential dangers, and it's a warning parents should take to heart.

"It is a cautionary tale for all of us. We must always be vigilant in the protection of our children."

Newlin says the case opens the door to open conversation with your kids.

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