Sex offender dangers: How to talk with your kids

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After our report on a sex offender loophole, many of you wanted victims to know about the help that is out there.

We often hear from child abuse survivors and victim advocates that being able to talk about this is crucial

NEWS10 ABC went to the Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center to learn more about opening that discussion.

Meet Erin Weiss a clinical supervisor at the center.

The agency provides emergency help and emotional support for many families.

For children, Weiss uses play and art during counseling sessions. Here, victims may begin to open up about their abusers.

“Sometimes kids will disclose in bits and pieces. They might not come out with the entire story right away because they are kind of testing the water and they want to gauge what the reaction is going to be, what the adult’s response is going to be,” Weiss said.

That response is pivotal.

Victim advocates say it often takes children years or even decades to report their abusers.

Some fear blame or consequences.

Weiss says there are warning signs.

“Changes in patterns of behavior that might include bed wetting, nightmares, and changes in appetite. I also think the most important thing is that they feel believed. That they have supportive people in their life.  I think that a lot of times we underestimate that, but it’s huge”

The center has a 24/7 hotline which can be reached at (518)-447-7716.

Learn more about the center.

 

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