Back in 2008, I posted an article about the dangers of family decals on vehicles. This is the link: The Dark Side of Those Cute Family Decals.
A few months ago, a Bikers Against Child Abuse posted the following personal account:
“I couldn’t help myself today. I saw a minivan parked here at the hospital with those stickers in the back window of each family member and their names. The lady exiting the vehicle was in her late 30’s, well dressed and rather attractive. While she was still at the vehicle I walked up and struck up a conversation with her using her name and also her husbands. I fabricated a story of how we had met before and convinced her of that by talking about one of the local night spots where we hung out. She assured me that she remembered and began talking about how much fun it was. I then asked about her kids to which she told me a story about her daughters birthday party and invited me attend. At that point I had to stop her, hand her a BACA Trifold and a window sticker and explain to her that her stickers were putting her and her children at risk. She tried to defend family pride until I asked her when that birthday party was again. She thanked me and walked into the hospital. I just looked out the window at the van and it is still there but the stickers are not. There is a new BACA sticker in her rear window where it use to be.”
I am honored to know BACA Opie and so many like him who aren’t afraid to speak up for children they have never even met!
Slowly making my way back into the swing of this blog. Please bear with me while I approve all pending comments and reply!
Thank you for the continued visits and support, the private messages, the suggestions and alerts, and for the passionate concern for children! Whether you are an outspoken contributor or one who regularly speaks to me via private comments or one who chooses to post a thought or suggestion anonymously, you are all very much appreciated!
I hope 2012 brings you the health, warmth, and happiness you deserve!
Hello! I want to thank everyone who has left comments during the last week. I sincerely apologize for not approving your comments and for not responding. I have been unable to get to my computer as often or for as long as I usually do. I like to approve comments when I know I can respond; otherwise, I will forget about the comment. Especially if it is on a much older post.
I want you all to know I truly appreciate your attention to the pandemic of child abuse and your eager participation on this site. I want to demonstrate my gratitude and respect for your time by giving your comment the consideration it deserves. Please be patient as I should be back to full business by the first of December.
Thank you again!
Jade Falcon TUECAA
I cannot express enough how important it is to do a thorough background check on anyone in care of your children. In this day and age when we know about sexual predators and violent adults working with children, there is absolutely no excuse to assume the person you are hiring to watch after your child is completely safe.
There are many companies that offer background checks for a very small charge, you can research for free through criminal records, you can do extensive interviews with previous families and the CHILDREN the person cared for in the past, there are websites which let people post their experiences with babysitters and child care facilities, and there are Nanny Cams. USA.gov provides a list of resources to find a safe caregiver and helpful links for parents and expecting parents. There is simply no excuse to allow such a predator into your home and into your child’s life.
Considering this woman had photos and videos from the entire time she babysat, and she was discovered to have molested at least one other boy in her care (so far), the fact that this is her first arrest in this matter means almost nothing. Pedophiles nearly never get caught their first time, or second, or third. In fact, it is estimated that by the time a pedophile is finally arrested for the first time, he or she has victimized dozens of children.
Below two recent articles about the pedophile babysitter is information on warning signs your child may be a victim of child sexual abuse and links to how pedophiles groom their victims as well as the parents. Educate yourself on not only signs of what makes your child a target, but learn what to look for to know if your child is being victimized.
By Bob Kasarda firstname.lastname@example.org, (219) 548-4345 | Posted: Friday, October 28, 2011 3:30 pm
VALPARAISO | A 21-year-old Wanatah woman is charged with 13 felony counts on accusations of sexually abusing a 3-year-old boy in the bedroom of his Chesterton home where she was baby-sitting.
Tara Tryon, of the 6900 block of Volk Road, is being held without bond at the Porter County Jail until her initial hearing Monday before Porter Superior Judge Bill Alexa.
The abuse came to light when an anonymous caller contacted LaPorte County authorities about forwarding to them an email containing photos and videos of a woman sexually molesting a young male, according to court records. The caller identified the woman as Tryon.
The caller mailed memory cards containing the photos and videos to the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department and the Valparaiso office of the Indiana Department of Child Services.
One of the memory cards was passed along to the Indiana State Police, which discovered 39 photos and two videos reportedly showing Tryon involved in various sex acts with the child. Police also identified the anonymous caller and the person who originally received the images.
The parents of the young boy confirmed Tryon watched their child in their home and verified the images were from the boy’s bedroom.
Tryon is charged with five Class B felony counts and one Class C felony count of child molesting, along with seven Class C felony counts of child exploitation.
Class B felonies carry a potential sentence of between six and 20 years behind bars, while Class C felony convictions could result in two to eight years.
By Bob Kasarda email@example.com, (219) 548-4345 | Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 11:30 am
VALPARAISO | Prosecutors believe at least one other boy may have been molested by a 21-year-old Valparaiso woman who made an initial court appearance Monday on charges of sexually abusing a 3-year-old Chesterton boy she was baby-sitting.
Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said investigators have found a sexual image of at least one other boy among the videos and photographs believed to have been made by Tara Tryon.
Anyone whose children have come in contact with Tryon is encouraged to contact Indiana State Police.
Tryon pleaded not guilty Monday to six felony counts of child molesting and seven felony counts of child exploitation related to allegations spanning Oct. 17, 2008, to May 2. The exploitation charges stem from allegations of recording the alleged abuse.
The case came to light when an anonymous caller contacted LaPorte County authorities. Police said they were provided with 39 photos and two video recordings showing Tryon involved in various sex acts with the child.
Bond was set Monday at $50,000 surety and $10,000 cash for Tryon, who appeared in court wearing shackles and the green-and-white-striped garb of a maximum security jail inmate. She likely would need to come up with $15,000 to await trial out of jail.
Polarek had requested a much larger $200,000 cash bond, arguing Tryon is a flight risk and a significant danger to the community. She said Tryon was preparing to leave the area when she was arrested and is believed to be responsible for other molestations.
“We do believe there may be other victims out there,” she said.
Tryon’s attorney, Bob Harper, sought a $20,000 surety bond, saying his client has no criminal history and was preparing to go to the laundromat, not flee the area.
A trial was set for Feb. 27, with preliminary hearings Dec. 16 and Jan. 20.
Each of the five Class B felonies carry a potential sentence of between six and 20 years behind bars while the eight Class C felony convictions could result in two to eight years each.
According to Love Our Children USA, 98,000 children every year receive treatment for sexual abuse. Love Our Children USA reports that infants often develop problems because of the psychological or physical ability to cope with the molestation. There are different warning signs of molestation that all parents and caregivers should be aware of when caring for a baby.
Genitalia Signs Trauma or damage to the genital area can be a sign of sexual abuse. According to Safer Child Inc., an important clue that your baby has been molested is if you find bruising, swelling or bleeding in the genital area. This type of clue is often noticed during a diaper change or when bathing the child. Although there are some other medical reasons your baby might have small amounts of blood in his diaper, including diaper rash or bleeding from a circumcision, bleeding along with swelling and bruising is not normal. Make sure you try to observe your child’s body when performing these tasks, especially if you have any concerns of this nature. A Safer Child reports that parallel or round bruises, perhaps in the shape of fingers or bruises, in different stages of healing can be excellent clues. In addition, Safer Child also reports the genital area may also have a discharge or the child may have pain when he urinates or has a bowel movement. Never overlook this clue; immediately take your baby to a pediatrician for evaluation.
A molested baby will often cry excessively. According to Safer Child, crying can come about without any annoyance. The baby may be especially upset when in the care of the molester and may begin crying immediately in her presence. Yes, babies do cry and some even cry much more than others do. However, if you notice a pattern or your infant crying excessively around a particular caregiver you should never leave her alone with that caregiver because the crying could represent more than attachment issues.
Love Our Children USA reports that a baby may experience an uncommon wariness of other people or new situations. He may become very upset if he thinks his parents are leaving him, and no amount of reassurance will appease the child. This can be a clue that is a little tougher to discern from a baby attached to his parents. In addition, Safer Child reports that sexually abused babies may exhibit such signs as lying very still when being played with or examined by a physician. This may not be a likely sign that some parents would notice but an alert physician might observe this slight sign.
If your child displays any of the following signs, it doesn’t mean that they’re a victim of sexual abuse – yet sexual abuse should be considered as a possible cause:
* Using kids for prostitution, in pornographic materials and as sexual objects
* Lack of interest in usual activities or unusually withdrawn
* Changes in temperament or interests
* Insecurity and fears
* Unusual and unexplained aches and pains
* Extreme behaviors, nightmares, outbursts of aggression, poor concentration, anger, depression
* Excessive masturbation
* Bed wetting or soiling
* Hesitancy to be alone with a certain person
* Age inappropriate sexual knowledge, promiscuity and language
* Sexually transmitted diseases
* Sore, red, bleeding, itching, burning genital areas, discharge and unusual odors
* Pain on urination
* Stained underpants
* Self destructive behavior
* Acting more immature and infantile
* Depression or withdrawal from friends or family
* Statements that their bodies are dirty or damaged, or fear that there is something wrong with them in their genital area
* Refusal to go to school
* Delinquency/conduct problems
* Aspects of sexual molestation in drawings, games, fantasies
* Unusual aggressiveness, or suicidal behavior
* Unusual interest in or avoidance of all things of a sexual nature
* Statements demonstrating unusual amounts of sexual knowledge
* Sexually explicit drawings
* Sexual interaction with other people, animals, or toys
* Preoccupation with sexual matters
* Sexual promiscuity (multiple partners)
* Reports of unwanted sexual experiences
* Adolescent prostitution
* Significant weight gain or loss
* Unusual distancing from the family
* Decrease in achievement
* Unusual wariness of other people and new situations
* Running away
* If a child talks about an adult’s undergarments
* Acting out
* Self-destructive behavior
* Use of alcohol and/or drugs
* Regressive behavior
Each year, I post an article on safety for children at Halloween. My primary focus is always in terms of sexual predators, pedophiles, who see this day as a great opportunity to be around children they wouldn’t normally be allowed to contact, even registered sex offenders.
This year, I want to add other concerns: Basic trick-or-treating safety and Pet safety.
The number of child deaths due to vehicular manslaughter double during Trick-or Treat. This is unacceptable! Everyone knows children are out on this night, so there is no excuse for such tragic accidents. While dangerous objects in candy is a myth, candy givers rarely consider allergies, and children don’t always look at what they are given when digging into their goody bags with their friends.
Lastly, no on wants to see their child’s fun evening turn into the tragedy of a dead family pet. Pets and animals die from ingesting candy, running out into the street when the door is opened, and are taken into custody for attacking children coming into their yard. Animals are, also, tortured more this time of year – not for any TRUE Halloween celebration but by cruel, sociopaths who believe ridiculous myths about this time of year.
This article and any similar you may find is not meant to dampen the Halloween spirit or throw about panic. This is only a reminder about the dangers out there because so many allow their guard to drop so their kids can have as much fun as they had. They can still have just as much fun if you are willing to quietly do your part as their guardian. It is your obligation as they venture out so they CAN enjoy themselves and CAN enjoy childhood for as long as possible. They are counting on you to take their safety seriously and not put a neighbor’s feelings above theirs.
1. HALLOWEEN SAFETY: SEXUAL PREDATORS
RSO’s convicted of sexual misconduct with children are generally forbidden from participating in Halloween activities where children are allowed. This includes Trick or Treat. Many do not abide by that restriction and unless someone calls in a complaint, the police are busy across town with other crimes.
Moreover, in many states, the restrictions apply only to offenders on supervised probation. That’s right .. If a sexual predator has served his time or other punishment and is excused from supervised probation, he or she can legally hand out candy and toys to your children and walk among them at Halloween festivities. Since we all know the recidivism rate for sexual offenders of children can be as high as 100% when in the constant vicinity of their AOA (age of attraction), such a loophole puts our children at 100% risk when such pedophiles purposefully position themselves to stalk them.
Local law enforcement agencies, the FBI, and NCMEC, as well as volunteers like me, know that sexual predators consider Halloween the greatest opportunity of the year. They get to befriend kids with their parents right beside them, look at them through snug fitting costumes, and give them candy to convince them they’re okay.
This has long been a traditional predatory event for them. They even post stories about their encounters (LG moments, LB moments = Little Girl/Little Boy) the following day on pedophile forums and when getting together. We have read disturbing and vile accounts on pedophile forums about children in their costumes, descriptions of how sexy they look and the fantasies that were imagined about the neighbor’s child. We’ve heard them brag about getting children’s full names and addresses, and not just by the child but by the parent with whom the perp engages in a polite conversation. We’ve seen them coach each other in the proper ways of grooming the parents and the child in the following months for future sexual contact.
There was an elderly man a few streets over from our house who one year gave out small stuffed dinosaurs to only certain children – my daughter was one of them. He instructed each child to go home, read about the dinosaur, and return to tell him all about it, with an offer of cookies in his living room and a suggestion that they could come without mom or dad if they wanted. He wasn’t on the sex offender registry, but most parents knew this was crossing the line and less children were allowed to visit him the following year.
Not all child sexual abusers are listed on the National Sex Offender Registry, although it’s a very good idea to check out www.familywatchdog.us as well as the FBI’s official site registry for your state. Just because someone isn’t listed on the registry, it doesn’t mean they are harmless. It could mean they simply haven’t been caught.
Trick or Treat is a happy time for kids in this country and should not be feared or forgotten because of a few evil predators who use our kids as sexual fantasies. Simple caution can keep our kids safe and free to enjoy this enchanting time of year:
- Keep Halloween a fun experience for your children by reminding them of stranger protocol. Chance favors a prepared mind.
- Look at the registries and mark the houses on a map listed as the homes of sex offenders.
- Children should be reminded that although this is a fun ritual, strangers are still very much strangers and should not be given personal information (such as name, where they live, school, etc…). Teach your child it is improper for an adult to ask their name or where they live. Instruct your child to let you know if any one asks their information.
- Never allow children under 13 go out unsupervised. Every year, I see groups of small children accompanied by young teens and no parents in sight. This is unacceptable and anything that happens to those children are the fault of those parents – logically and legally.
- Choose your child’s costume with their age in mind. Age appropriate costumes and the designs of the costumes they wear (form fitting and revealing vs. slightly loose and comfortable) can be a deciding factor in one child being chosen as a target over another. Children allowed to dress provocatively are not only pleasing to a pedophile’s eye. They are, also, viewed upon by predators as having parents who don’t understand the dangers and more than likely, haven’t taught their children what is inappropriate regarding sexuality.
- Regardless of what a person at the door tells them, there is no good reason to ever return to that home. It could be a promise of more candy, letting them play with their dog or other family pet, etc…
- One thing pedophiles use to their advantage is that a child chooses their costume based upon their favorite things. This opens the door for a conversation with the child on the pretense of similar interests. If an adult tries to get into a conversation with your child, other than a brief “Nice costume” etc, take your child’s hand and leave immediately. It isn’t to say the person is a predator, but you cannot let your child grow accustomed to having conversations with strangers.
- Regardless of how polite the person is, they are still a stranger to you and your child. Therefore, you should not be giving out information, either. One grooming technique of sexual predators of children is to go through the parents to get to the child. This is not your friend or a chance at a first date. This is a stranger and should be treated as such for the safety of your child.
2. HALLOWEEN SAFETY: BASIC TRICK-OR-TREATING TIPS
Tips for Parents
On average, twice as many kids are killed in pedestrian/vehicle incidents on Halloween as compared to other days of the year. Pedestrian safety is not just the responsibility of the driver, however, parents can do their part to help kids stay out of the emergency room on Halloween by emphasizing safe pedestrian behaviors before they go out trick-or-treating.
• Cross streets safely. Children under 12 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
• Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don’t run, across the street.
• Pedestrians should try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
• Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
• Parents should remind children to be safe pedestrians around cars. Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up. Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
• Children should not be alone at night without adult supervision if they are under the age of 12. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit.
Kids will be out while it is dark – making it harder for drivers to see them. This lack of visibility makes it important for drivers to slow down and watch out for trick-or-treaters, especially around crosswalks. Parents should remember that costumes can be both creative and safe.
• Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
• Choose face paint and make-up whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
• Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
While pedestrian safety is a main concern on Halloween, parents and kids should also be careful when dealing with candy and costumes.
• Check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Remind children to only eat treats in original, unopened wrappers. Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded or torn, or if the candy is unwrapped.
• While glow sticks are good for visibility, remember that the liquid in glow sticks is also hazardous, so parents should remind children not to chew on or break them.
• Look for non-toxic designations when choosing Halloween makeup.
Tips for Drivers
Drivers need to do their part to keep trick-or-treaters safe from harm. Safe Kids Cape Fear and FedEx caution motorists to be extra careful this Halloween.
• Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
• Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
• Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
• Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
• Drive more slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and be sure to drive with your full headlights on so you can spot children from greater distances.
• Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle.
3. HALLOWEEN SAFETY: PETS
*credit goes to www.aspca.org
1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.
3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.
6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.
7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.
8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.
9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside.
10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increaing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.