Sexual abuse may be one of the most difficult topics to discuss with your children, but the issue has come up again in relation to the murder case of Cynthia Hoffman.

According to court documents, Anchorage police took possession of 18-year-old murder suspect Denali Brehmer's phone and say they found child pornography in text messages.

Officials with Standing Together Against Rape (STAR) say it's important that young people be able to openly communicate with a trusted adult in cases of sexual trauma when they're reluctant to talk to a parent.

"What we teach kids when we go into schools is for them to identify trusted adults. We use a little hand figure where they can identify a nurse, a teacher, a counselor, a friend, or a friend's parent that they feel comfortable with," said Jennifer Brown the development manager at STAR.

Brown says there are some warning signs parents should look for when it comes to sexual trauma.

"Generally I would say kids who are abnormally withdrawn or if they're perpetrator is somebody who's in their lives. If that person is around and there's odd behaviors or they hide or something, those are very obvious things to look for," she said.

STAR has two crisis lines that are staffed around the clock and a business line available for more information:

  • Local Crisis Line: (907) 276-7273
  • Statewide Crisis Line: (800) 478-8999 
  • Business Line: (907) 276-7279

Brown pointed to information about how to talk with your kids about sexual assault, as well STAR's guide for teachers, caregivers and adults working with children. She also mentioned that there are apps parents should be aware of that can put kids at risk.

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