Ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk about a heavy topic today.

I know all of my extra energy and resources are going toward protecting my family and others from coronavirus, but what about children who are most vulnerable right now? How are they being protected? It occurred to me that even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic, children who are at highest risk for child abuse might be at even higher risk now while being at home 24/7 with their abusers.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month and with the coronavirus quarantine in place , the threat of child abuse at home and sex trafficking online is at an all-time high. How can those who are practicing social distancing—neighbors, postal delivery workers, delivery persons and more—spot child abuse from afar?

1 out of 9 children are approached by a predator online. With kids online more than ever before doing school work and playing games, it is more important than ever that parents are educated and empowered to protect them. How can parents make sure their children aren’t encountering sexual predators online?

Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good, author of Groomed and CEO the Selah Way Foundation and Selah Freedom, two of the nation’s leading anti-sex trafficking organizations, provided me with these tips for how parents and caregivers can be aware of possible abuse at a distance and at home.

  • If you notice a child is living with an apparent lack of adult supervision, seek help.
  • If you notice bruising around the arms and neck, those are instant red flags. However, many abusers are wise enough to only leave marks where they will be covered by clothing.
  • Parents staying at home with children can monitor which web pages and streaming movies kids are viewing online. A great app for parents who want to monitor their kids’ activity on social media is BARK.

Selah Way organization has shared a FREE online prevention course for parents and teens. The facts show 1 out of 9 children are approached by a predator online. With kids online more than ever before due to COVID-19 stay-at-home advisories, it is vital that parents are educated and empowered to protect them.

  • We have launched a free virtual training course scheduled for April 9 at 5:30pm ET. Registration required. Click here. Once you have registered, a link will be emailed to you to attend this training.
  • Parents who complete this training will receive an invitation for their kids (6th-12th grade) to attend a Sex, Lies & Media training created just for them. This training will be held virtually on April 16th at 5:30 PM Eastern.
  • Sex, Lies & Media Training helps interveners (parents, teachers, youth workers, etc.) learn about how predators and recruiters can approach innocent youth online through social media. It educates adults on the red flags to look out for, how a predator can manipulate and exploit a child, and how to protect the next generation from this crime. Gain practical tools to keep your kids safe online and learn how to facilitate conversations about this  issue with them.

I hope you’re staying safe at home right now and that your children are protected. Sending you all lots of love.

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