A mother recently told us about a man in her community. He was someone that everyone trusted. He worked well with children, he was charming, and everyone loved him.

She didn’t.

This negativity toward him made her feel bad, but every time she was around him she felt the need to shield her daughter from his sight. The way he looked at her little girl made this mother incredibly uncomfortable. She berated herself for seeing things that weren’t there and tried to see what others saw when they looked at this man.

A few weeks later she learned that he was a sexual perpetrator of children in her daughter’s age-range.

This is a story that is all too common. After things like this happen, parents will look back and see the red flags, notice the times they ignored their intuition or pushed aside what their gut was telling them.

If this situation occurs in your life—where a person who interacts with your child regularly makes you uncomfortable—trust your intuition. Take the time to talk to this person by confronting them with kindness. Don’t accuse them of anything, but let them know how serious you are about protecting your child against sexual abuse.

This person will either understand and be supportive or, if they are in fact a potential perpetrator, this will put them on high alert. This will let them know that your child is not an easy target and that you are watching and aware.

Take the time to educate yourself about common perpetrator patterns, teach your child about healthy sexual development, and trust your intuition as a parent. If a person or situation doesn’t feel right, analyze why and consider keeping your child away. Like the old adage says, “Better safe than sorry.”

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