BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Crystal Tucker always keeps an open communication with her children.
“If it makes you feel uncomfortable, anybody that even talks to you and makes you feel uncomfortable, to just share it. And let me as the adult make the decisions and make the necessary steps,” Tucker explained.
That is exactly what Raleigh County Special Investigator Jeff Shumate said she should do, especially when sexual predators are constantly on the prowl. However, Shumate said parents should not be as concerned about their children talking to strangers.
“For so long, we taught our children to be aware of the stranger that hangs out in the park,” Shumate said.
Shumate said the monster may be in the child’s home, or family.
“It’s usually a family friend, a family member who are the offenders. Very seldom do you see strangers be the offender,” Shumate said.
Because the predators are usually close to the victim, Shumate said they know how to manipulate them.
“They kind of befriend the children. Sometimes what they’ll do to keep them from telling, is they will threaten their family or threaten their animals.. Something that they know that the victim is very attached to so they will have a fear to disclose that,” Shumate explained.
Shumate said the best defense against child predators is to keep an open communication with your child. He said if your son or daughter starts to act differently, it may be a sign that someone has hurt them.
“Some drastic changes in their behavior, I think that’s an indicator that you need to communicate with your child to see what is causing that,” Shumate said.
Worse than the monsters under the bed.
“That’s why they are called predators,” Tucker said.