Is Any Place Safe For Children?

A 22-year-old man was arrested by police for attempting to restrain and sexually assault a child in a library. The child resisted the predator and, along with another child, tried to help fight off the attacker, according to police.

The man escaped by going into a bathroom and jumping out the window. The children identified the perpetrator when they talked to police, which led to his arrest. "Police: Kids fought off attempted sexual assault at Granville library," (Nov 3, 2017).

Commentary and Checklist

Although the biggest threat to children of sexual assault is from people they know, strangers do pose a threat, especially if they think they have an opportunity to offend without being caught.

Libraries are considered a safe place. Consequently, children are allowed to roam without safe adults present. Even so, if other adults interact with children, even in a public place, safe adults must keep up their guard.

Although libraries are safe, they do not have cameras or security, and there are very few employees who are watching how adults interact with children. Consequently, in libraries, it is important for children to stick with their buddies. In this matter, it was a buddy who helped prevent the assault.  

Here are some teaching points for children:

  • A potential sex offender may look and behave normally.
  • Instruct children to never go anywhere with an adult, especially in a car, without permission from a safe adult.
  • Teach children that if an adult tries to touch them, they are to yell "No!" and leave immediately to find a safe adult.
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