Thank you for joining us in this difficult but necessary discussion. In this two part series on avoiding abuse and false accusations, we are looking at ways that a parent can minimize the opportunity for their children to be harmed, while also working to keep themselves safe from false allegations of abuse. It’s a hard topic, we know. But just like choosing to make up a will or prepare a prenuptial agreement, the better prepared you are for the future, the less fallout you will have to deal with.
In the previous segment, we discussed some of the statistics reflecting the realities of child abuse today, and discussed why it’s so important to be careful. Especially since you could find yourself the subject of false accusations if you aren’t aware and prepared! In this piece we are going to be looking at strategies you can employ to increase your children’s chances of safety and freedom from abuse. These are also ways that you can protect yourself from false accusations.
One of the most important things a parent can do to reduce their child’s chances of being abused is to minimize the opportunity. Abuse of children, sexual or otherwise, is rarely done out in the open. It happens in secret, behind closed doors. So the most effective methods for reducing the chances of letting it happen at all, is to remove the opportunity for your child to be alone with another adult or an older child in a private setting. The same goes for you – don’t allow yourself to be in avoidable situations where you are alone with a child, specifically someone else’s child. It will reduce the chances of false accusations at a later date.
In situations where you have no choice – you are working and someone else is looking after your child for you, make a point of dropping in unexpectedly from time to time. Also, be sure to vary your drop-in times so that the person caring for your child doesn’t learn to anticipate “early afternoon drop-ins” or “occasional early pick-ups”.
Another area where you are advised to reduce or eliminate one adult/one child situations, is in youth activities. Sports teams, tutoring, faith-based gatherings, daycare, and after school clubs. Try to ensure that your child will never be left alone with an adult. On the flip side, if you are a coach, a daycare provider, a church nursery worker or a tutor, protect yourself by insisting on the presence of another adult with you when you have to deal with a single child away from other children.
Also, be very careful when allowing your children to attend sleep-overs at friends houses. Kids love parties and staying up late to watch movies with friends. But they rarely understand the dangers they may encounter when sleeping at other’s homes. It is far better to risk having your child angry at you for a time, or annoyed at your “old fashioned” rules, than to risk their innocence and their bodies in ways that cannot be undone afterwards.
In the same way, if you are hosting a sleep-over, perhaps ask another adult friend to stay over as well as “back-up.” When you check on the kids at night, they can come with you. That way, should a child falsely accuse you later on of inappropriate behavior, you have a witness.
Make a point of choosing group activities and group settings for your child whenever possible. In a situation, like some after school tutoring, where there is no group option available, choose a tutor who can come to your home and teach your child while you are present. Another option is online tutoring, which can be done with webcams that will allow your child to receive the one-on-one attention they need without the risk. When your child is using the internet, however, be certain to remain nearby where you can overhear what is being said, or drop in on the session from time to time so that your child does not become the victim of a predator.
Remember that child abusers almost always work to befriend the children they abuse first. It’s sad to think that even your innocent friendliness could contribute to false accusations. Always be aware and proactive in how you deal with other people’s children. A minor inconvenience now can greatly reduce the chances of a tragedy, or a fictional accusation, later.
If however, you have been accused of abusing a child, contact us immediately at 800-576-6035. The experienced attorneys at the The Kronzek Firm have decades of experience handling child abuse cases and false allegations. We can help you too.