OffenderWatch Blog

Posted: Jul 18, 2016
Categories: Blog Posts
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Gaming app Pokémon Go became a sensation almost from the first instant of its July 2016 launch. Fans of the app credit Pokémon Go with encouraging users to exercise, sightsee, and interact with each other and their local neighborhoods. But with those many benefits come some very real and surprising concerns.

What is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is a free, app-based game which creates a virtual world utilizing the player’s GPS location. The object of the game is to catch as many Pokémon characters as possible within this virtual world. Players navigate their surroundings using a virtual map displayed on their smartphone or device. When they approach a Pokémon, the camera on their device activates to allow them to “capture” the character. Players can also obtain free items at designated “Pokéstops”, many of which correspond to churches, landmarks, and public areas.

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Posted: Jul 15, 2016
Categories: Blog Posts
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Did you know that shopping on Amazon can benefit OffenderWatch Initiative? Amazon allows you to enjoy the same products, low prices and convenience while giving you the ability to contribute to charitable organizations easily. Instead of shopping at Amazon, you shop at AmazonSmile. The only difference is that the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of all eligible purchases to the charity you choose.

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Posted: Jun 14, 2016
Categories: Blog Posts
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Every two minutes, someone in the United States becomes a victim of sexual assault. This amounts to a total of around 210,000 cases of sexual assault per year. Even more discouraging, over half of all incidents of sexual assault go unreported. In many cases, victims of sexual assault are too afraid or ashamed to seek help; they may also lack awareness of what forms sexual assault can take. They may believe that any act short of completed sexual intercourse does not meet the definition of sexual assault.

However, sexual assault is not limited to one specific act or scenario. There are a number of different types of sexual assault, and each carries profound and lasting impacts for those who experience any form of it. The following categories represent the most common types of sexual assault.

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Posted: May 19, 2016
Categories: Blog Posts
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With all of the focus on “stranger danger”, it may come as a surprise to many parents to learn that child sexual abuse is far more likely to involve someone the child (and often the family) knows. Most sexual abusers bide their time and are skilled at hiding their true motivations, unlike the popular image of the bad stranger who uses candy to lure unsuspecting children into a car. This can make it more difficult not only for children to spot a sexual abuser, but for their parents as well.

The good news is that a little knowledge can go a long way. The process by which sexual abusers win a child’s trust, known as grooming, does not vary much from abuser to abuser. The details might change, but the steps and behaviors involved are very similar. Learning to recognize these stages and behaviors of the grooming process - and in turn teaching your children how to recognize them - can help to prevent the situation from escalating.

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Posted: May 12, 2016
Categories: Blog Posts
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Many people are familiar with the concept of “stranger danger” as it relates to child safety, but experts caution that we should avoid teaching young children that everyone who is unknown to them is likely to be dangerous. A child who is lost in a store, for instance, will likely need to seek help from a stranger (such as a store clerk or security guard) in order to be reunited with a parent or caregiver. So what’s the best way to help children learn to recognize the difference between people who intend to harm them, or bad strangers, and people they simply don’t know well?

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