No family wants to unwittingly buy a property next to a registered sex offender – there's enough stress raising kids. Whether you are buying a new house or just want to be more aware of threats in your neighborhood, this article is for you. We connect you to a sex offender registry tool and offer 3 more ways to keep your children safe.
Why isn’t checking the location of registered sex offenders enough? To put it simply: The internet.
A sex offender down the street may never see your child, let alone hurt them. However, a sex offender hundreds of miles away could abuse your child easily through screen time.
How to Use the Sex Offender Registry
Every registered sex offender’s name goes into a data base. Family Watch Dog created a sex offender map that allows you to search by zip code to identify locations of registered sex offenders and crimes they committed. You can access that database here.
Now that you know how to access the sex offender registry, let’s look at 3 more ways you can keep your kids safe from registered sex offenders and sex offenders who haven’t gotten caught yet, online or off.
3 Additional Ways to Keep your Kids Safe
Be your child’s sex educator
There are so many roles we hand to others when it comes to raising our children. We may not be able to teach them algebra, but we HAVE to be the ones teaching them about sexual health.
Break away from the “birds and the bees” talk and introduce the topic in small chunks over time. Not sure how to open up that conversation? Defend Innocence has created excellent guides for parents that you can find here.
A child who understands body boundaries and what is inappropriate of others to ask of them is a better protected child.
We know these conversations are uncomfortable, but if you don’t talk to your child about sex, someone else will – and predators actively seek naïve children because they are easy targets, online or off.
Learn the grooming process
Although abductions do happen, kidnapping is not the only method available to traffickers and predators. If they can find a victim - in person or online (think social media, video games requiring wifi connection, etc.) - most will take the time to groom them.
What is grooming? It’s the process predators use to manipulate children. They will spend days, weeks, even months interacting with a child, gaining their trust, and developing a much less noticeable situation for abuse. Why kidnap and set off an amber alert if they can manipulate the child to “runaway” - a situation that warrants much less public attention and law enforcement involvement.
Intentionally build your child’s circle of trust
Although strangers do abuse children, victims are more accessible to abusers who are in their family. Yes, this is a hard thing to think about - that is why familial abuse has gone under the radar for generations. But taking the time to look up a sex offender registry is ineffective against sexual abuse if there is groomer in your own circle.
How can you identify an abuser in your circle?
Again, Defend Innocence builds incredible resources for parents. Read their blog now to learn how to build a circle of trust within your own families and how to set boundaries that prevent familial abuse.
Thank you for partnering with the NCPTF mission: building a world where every child can experience childhood, excited for tomorrow. By educating yourself on risks of sexual abuse, you are doing just that.
Ready to financially partner with us? Join us in funding our cause now at ncptf.org/donate