Number 1 priority – protecting our children

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By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

I honestly belive that no one loves their job more than I do. Working as a reporter/writer for the Portsmouth Daily Times is the best job I have ever had. I have met more people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise and been able to deal with subjects that allowed me the opportunity to be educated in diverse fields.

However, every so often I have to deal with something that is unpleasant and actually worse than that. It’s downright disgusting. In recent weeks there has been a rash of child molestations and rapes and I know no one wants to read about those situations, but bringing a topic into the light of day gets you on the right foot toward defeating a problem.

As parents we must educate our children. I have recently been following the NBC series “My Kid Would Never Do That.” It is absolutely frightening what children will do when they are out of our line of sight. On that show, child after child allowed strangers into the house when they were home alone. They also got into vehicles with complete strangers.

We all believe that we teach our children well, yet in each one of the cases on the TV show, the parents had repeatedly given the children orders not to open the door for anyone nor to ever get into someone’s car if it wasn’t someone whom the parents had pre-arranged a pick up situation with.

That doesn’t mean we give up – quite the contrary – we must drill it and drill it into their minds. We should even conduct exercises with our children using scenario-driven examples.

Most importantly we need to teach them the importance of reporting anything that happens that falls into the category of an attempted abduction. Then we must follow up by believing them. What makes it difficult is that many times children are molested by family members or people close to their own family. We need to teach them that it doesn’t matter who it is – to report it and we must become their advocates.

There are predators living among us. People who want to harm our children. We must be ever vigilant and teach and teach our children what to do and more importantly what not to do. We need to monitor their time on the internet, keep an eye on their Facebook activities and review the information on their phones on a regular basis.

It’s not intruding into their lives – it’s called parenting. It’s doing whatever it takes to keep our children safe and alive.

I have done four stories this week alone dealing with the issue of child molestation and rape and what scares me is that we are just touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to actual incidents that go unreported.

Please be an an activist and an advocate for the safety of our children. Their lives depend on it.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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