Cleveland Rape Crisis Center teaching parents how to spot signs of sexual abuse in kids

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center helping parents spot signs of sexual abuse

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - As students head back to school, there is some important information parents need to know to make sure their children stay safe.

On Friday, a Warrensville Heights High School teacher was arrested and charged with felony importuning , which means asking someone pressingly or persistently for, or do to something.

Duane Keaton was taken into custody on Aug. 9 at the school.

Experts with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center said parents need to trust their gut.

"If something feels wrong, it probably is wrong," Alexander Leslie, Senior Director of Educational Services for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center said.

According to Leslie, 80% of the general population knows the abuser for cases of sexual assault. With children, that number increases to 95%.

"When somebody is in a trusted relationship with a young person, they may be pushing those boundaries about what's appropriate. Maybe getting the focus more on personal, rather than the professional reason they are working together," Leslie explained.

According to Leslie, the age of social media and technology can make it more difficult for parents to track their kids behaviors. He said, forcing regulations and restrictions on your child can actually push them away.

"The single best thing parents can do is get curious about their young persons online life and ask them questions about how much their online life is like their regular life," Leslie said.

He also recommended for parents to pay close attention to big changes in their child's appearance or attitude. Those changes could be good or bad.

"The more we leave that door open, the more young people will come to us," he said.

Other things to look for include; drastic drops in grade, a lack of interest in activities, and dramatic changes in things like hair or clothing.

If you have questions, you can call or text the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center at 216.619.6192.

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