OffenderWatch Blog

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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Posted: Apr 8, 2016
Categories: Blog Posts
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Sex offenders often hide behind the protective screen of a computer and use that as an easy way to prey on innocent children. As of today, sex offenders are required to report their physical address to the authorities. While this serves to help keep your children safe at home and the places they visit, it doesn't serve as protection online.

Modern culture has dramatically increased how we communicate and the method of choice is now online and via mobile communication. Statistics prove that 80% of teenagers have mobile devices and spend about nine hours a day online. It is quite difficult to monitor your children's online communication, who they're communicating with and what is being said.

Wouldn't it be proactive for parents to be able to increase security and know who their children are communicating with online? Imagine a day when sex offenders must not only register their home address but also their cell phone number, online screen names, email addresses and other online identifiers to gaming companies and cell phone providers? This would open the door for these companies to cross reference data and alert parents if their children are communicating with sex offenders through their cell phones or gaming devices.

What are your thoughts? Please join this conversation on our Facebook page. Just click here to leave a comment. We would love to hear from you!

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