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Protecting Our Children from Pedophiles

Protecting Children from PredatorsSpending three hours on a Monday night talking about pedophiles wasn’t exactly how I wanted to spend my time, but in order to volunteer at my son’s school I had to take a class called “Protecting God’s Children.” My son attends kindergarten at private Catholic school (hence the “God” part). If I want to do anything outside of everyday routines (like reading to the class or going on a field-trip) I’m required to take this class as well as get fingerprinted. While I dreaded taking the class, I’m really glad I did and I’m thankful my son’s school requires it.

Watching videos of children talk about their horrific experiences and listening to actual pedophiles talk about what they did, was sobering. Not only do these sick people exist, but technology has opened up a new door for these monsters. Our smart phones and tablets are such awesome tools. Sharing knowledge and information is amazing, but with the good comes to bad too. Not to mention, all these devices have cameras. Think about that for minute. It’s amazing how a picture can be seen around the world in just seconds.

After the class I wanted to run home and delete my Facebook page, but while I probably won’t end up actually doing that, I will be making some big adjustments in how I use social media as well as my iPhone and all the other gadgets we have.

Here’s some important information from the VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” class I learned that I would like to share with all of you…

Know the Warning Signs (of a perpetrator)

  • Discourages other adults from participating with children
  • Always want to be alone with children
  • More excited to be with children than adults
  • Gives gifts to children (often without permission)
  • Goes overboard with touching
  • Always wants to wrestle or tickle
  • Thinks rules do not apply to them
  • Allows kids to engage in activities their parents would not allow
  • Uses bad language or tells dirty jokes
  • Shows pornography

Control Access

  • Check references/screen childcare
  • Know your child’s friends and parents
  • Know your child’s schedule
  • Keep computers in an open access area
  • Monitor computers and phones, etc.

Monitor All Programs

  • Phones and computers
  • Parties
  • After school activities
  • Family gatherings, etc.

Be Aware

  • Talk to your children
  • Observe your children
  • Listen to what your children tell you
  • Believe what your children tell you
  • Teach your children where their private parts are
  • Talk to your children about protecting themselves
  • Teach them what to do if someone tries to touch them or makes them uncomfortable
  • Be alert to changes in your child’s behavior

Communicate Your Concerns

  • Pay attention to your “gut feelings” and communicate your concerns
  • Talk to the person involved, a school/church official, call an abuse hotline or contact your local police

Some MYTHS about child sex abuse…

  • Strangers are responsible for most child sex abuse. False.
  • Most sexual abusers are homosexual. False.
  • Children usually lie about sexual abuse. False.
  • Priests abuse children because of their vow of celibacy. False.

I hope this information is as powerful to you as it was to me. While we want to protect our kids from the bad, unfortunately, we can’t prevent everything. We can, however, make a commitment to be ever present in our children’s lives.

 

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About Jessica Grundy

Jessica Grundy
Jessica Grundy grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but moved out west when she was 12 years old. She attended Green Valley High School in Henderson, Nevada, and received her communications degree from University of Nevada, Reno. She also studied abroad in London, England. Since 2008 she has lived in Carson City with her husband, Jason, a Carson City native. The apples of her eye are son, Chase, and daughter, Elle. Jessica went back to work in April 2014 after taking two years off to be at home with her kids, so when she's not busy working fulltime or being a mom, she likes to get outdoors. She wishes there was more time for reading and travelling though. On the weekends you can most likely find her playing miniature golf, a favorite family activity.

9 comments

  1. Jenny Petty

    This is great info. Thanks for sharing Jess!

  2. Jenn

    I remember taking this class when my son attended Little Flower Catholic School in Reno. It is good information and very scary to think about!

  3. Great information to review, thanks Jess!

  4. Thanks for sharing, this is great information. I think I’d also add the extension of what we define as “child”. When I was in high-school and 16, my best friend was sexually harassed by her boss at work. She thought she’d done something wrong, her parents didn’t believe her, etc. etc. It was awful. I appreciate your tips and that you shared this; I’d also encourage parents to extend the same concerns/thoughts to even their teenagers.

    • Jessica Grundy

      Thanks, Fayth. The class did talk about older kids and the information is intended for anyone under 18. My son’s school is k-8, but the class is also for Manogue High School. Parents there also have to take this class, so it does cover our teens too.

  5. This reminds me of an article I read months back and of course can no longer find. It was about teaching our kids to say no when they don’t feel comfortable giving an uncle or family friend a hug. Being polite and not made to feel guilty or pressured into sitting on Uncle Pete’s lap, as that can lead to putting someone else’s feels before their own when they become teens and could possibly be pressured into sex. The article also made a good point about parents stopping tickling when the child says stop to help reinforce that no means no and stop will be taken seriously. I sure wish I could find the article!

  6. Lynnette

    Great info, Jessica and thanks for sharing. I’m interested to hear what the course content was behind this statement:

    “Priests abuse children because of their vow of celibacy. False.”

    As a non-Catholic, I have to think perhaps the sexual abuse done by the clergy wouldn’t be as common if the clergy were allowed to marry. I would agree that they don’t necessarily abuse children BECAUSE of their vow of celibacy, but I also don’t understand why the church holds firm to the vow of celibacy when that vow seems to have been put in place to protect church land from being lost to heirs of priests.

    Not at all trying to pick a fight here, but totally interested to hear how they covered this in your class!

  7. Jessica Grundy

    Lynnette, I believe the clergy should be allowed to marry. I think having all different perspectives would be good for the church. The current Pope is liberal compared to previous Popes and I think he’s done a lot of good although I think we are still far from that being allowed. Anyhow, I think because scandal rocked the church, they are trying to make sure people understand that priests are not pedophiles. Any person in the church that did harm was a pedophile, first and foremost, and not really a priest at all. They just chose the church as an “easy” place to hide. I think most people can’t/don’t understand celibacy, so it’s easy to say they did something bad because of that. I don’t think celibacy has anything to do with being a pedophile. The numbers show it’s less than 1% of priests that have committed child abuse. I think you can compare it to the homosexual myth. One has nothing to do with the other. It’s just goes to show how ignorance can spread. BTW, I was raised Catholic, but don’t practice. Chase attends for the education, not the religion. However, I’m glad he’s getting religious knowledge, albeit a specific point of view. We are not a religious family, so it’s helped us fill in the gaps.

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