Being a mother of four children who range from ages four to 13, my number one priority is keeping my children safe from being abducted and preyed upon by sexual offenders. Sexual offenders are everywhere and you would be surprised at how many may be living in your neighborhood. Lately, I have been setting my television to record Nancy Grace's new show that began in January, "Nancy Grace: America's Missing" on HLN channel. The show is an eye opener to all parents to keep an eye on our children. This is a wonderful show and I have sat with my older children to watch the show so that their eyes will open up to the danger of strangers and sexual offenders that are everywhere. The more that they are aware of these situations, the more they will be cautious when it comes to strangers and their surroundings.
According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an average of 2,000 children are reported missing each day, which is a startling number. I am always talking to my children about the stranger danger and reminding them to always stay in groups with other children and to never wander off alone. Many children who go missing are from someone they might even know who may be a sex offenders. This is why it is very important to open up to your children and be completely honest with them about the emotionally unstable people who are out there that will prey on children and possibly sexually abuse them. They need to know the truth and the types of behaviors that are inappropriate from adults and peers, including family members. The more they know, the better they are because they will be on their toes and watching their surroundings when strangers are among them. Let them know that you are there for them and if anything ever happens to them that is inappropriate, they should not be afraid to talk to you.
Taking your children to the Family Watchdog website is a step every mother should take with their children. The Family Watchdog website lets you as a parent be informed and to inform your children where sexual offenders are in your neighborhood. You are able to search by entering your address or search by name for free. If you enter your address, you will be directed to a map where you will see a house, which is where you live. There you will find information about the address where sex offenders live, as well as a possible photo. On the same page, you can also view crime statistics for your city, including forcible rape, violent crime, murder and manslaughter, aggravated assault, property crime, and burglary. If your child has mobile phone, BeenVerfied.com has launched the first ever mobile application that uses the power of augmented reality to help protect children in any location that they might be by letting you know where sexual offenders are in your area.
Some other ways you can protect your child is to have them always inform you of their whereabouts. If they tell you they are at one place and decide to go to another, they need to let you know. Children are at high risk to abduction by any sexual offender. If a registered sexual offender has sexually abused someone, they are more likely to do it again. You can also come up with a password system for your children. Think of a secret password, such as butterfly, peanut, or whatever you and your children will remember. Tell your children that they are not allowed to go with anyone or have anyone pick them up at school unless they tell them your secret password that only you and your children know. This way if you can't pick up your child, you can ask someone else to pick them up using the secret password for their safety. Once the password has been used, make up a new password.
Children are very vulnerable and we need to teach them everything about our world, which can be a dangerous world we live in. If we turn the other cheek, or don't talk to our children about possible dangerous situations that can happen from emotionally unstable people, they may be at a higher risk because they were not aware of these type of situations that can occur.