Protecting kids from predators



While headlines about coaches molesting children grab attention, it also begs the question —how do you protect children from sexual predators?

Most of the time, the abuse comes from someone whom a child and a parent trusts. Take Bernie Fine at Syracuse, for instance. The 65-year-old was fired by the university following an ESPN report about a now 39-year-old man who says he was abused by the coach as a seventh grader.

Bobby Davis was a seventh grader helping out around the Syracuse basketball court when he claims the abuse began.

Now 39, he says he made a recording in October 2002 of a phone call with Fine's wife, Laurie.

He says he did so so his allegations of molestation against Bernie Fine would be taken seriously.

"I know everything that went on, you know. I know everything that went on with him," the woman identified as Laurie Fine tells Davis, "Bernie has issues, maybe that he's not aware of, but he has issues ... And you trusted somebody you shouldn't have trusted."

Davis gave a copy of the tape to ESPN and recently to police. ESPN says a voice expert confirms the woman's voice on the audiotape matches Laurie Fine's.

How do you keep kids safe and give the the courage to come forward when the abuse happens? According to MSNBC:

The facts are that about 90 percent of sexual molestation is committed by a person known to the child. They are not strangers. They are family members, teachers, coaches, babysitters, religious instructors and others who are in a position of knowing, caring for and being an authority figure for your child.

Pedophiles are often drawn to areas where they work with children because they want to be around them. This is the biggest reason it is crucial to educate your kid about the possibility, the danger signs, the places to turn to and the necessity of trusting their own judgment (and you will shape that judgment) about sexual predators.

Experts say parents have to teach children that it is OK to say no and be rude if they're being approached by an adult to do something they're not comfortable with.

It's also important to know local laws.

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