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Experts offer tips on keeping children safe from predators

By Lauren Maxwell 7:22 AM December 4, 2013

Listening to children, believing what they say is important

ANCHORAGE - Police said it’s too soon to tell if an Anchorage minister arrested on charges of child pornography had any local victims, but said there are some things every parent can do to help keep their children safe.

Parents who notice changes in their child’s behavior should watch them closely, because there could be signs of abuse or something else alarming. Monitoring their computer behavior is another option for parents who are concerned.

Listening to children and believing what they say is also important, according to educator Julie Dale, who works for Standing Together Against Rape (STAR). Recently she met with children at Mountain View Elementary to talk about why it’s important to keep body parts private and who to talk with if something goes wrong.

“Knowing who those trusted adults are and where to find them is important,” Dale said. “’It’s OK to tell’ is also an important message for kids, and letting them know that these trusted adults are all around them in our community.”

Educators at STAR are available to talk with parents or children about what can be a difficult topic. The Anchorage Police Department also provides presentations on Internet safety for parents that are available to the public as well.

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