Yes. One on four kids report being sexually abused.

But the real discussion should not be about who is on the sex offender registry, the REAL issue is who is this sexual predator that we are all afraid of?  Read Hudson Valley Parent’s series of stories written by Gloria Smith.

We talk among ourselves – adult to adult – about reports in the media, most recently the Times Herald Record, of sexual abuse. So much of this talk revolves about sports figures, whether it’s the coach at Syracuse University or the Penn State scandal.

But, I think we, as parents, have not yet figured out how to deal with this topic relative to our kids. According to Eve Waltermauer, associate professor at SUNY New Paltz, “We need to teach our kids how to handle abuse when it is someone they know. Someone they think is our friend or a family member.”

Waltermauer says, if your kids feel uncomfortable with an adult, they need to know they can come to you to discuss it without thinking you won’t believe them or that you will feel angry. After all, the perpetrator is someone who is known to the family…a family member, a friend, a coach, a day care provider.

“We tend to focus on this whole notion of ‘stranger danger,’” say Waltermauer. “We fail to teach kids what to when someone close to the family is a potential predator.

How have you handled this issue of sexual abuse? Do you find it a difficult topic to discuss?