DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Officials with the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center are sending a strong warning to guardians of children saying the risk of them being targeted by predators, especially online, is increasing as school lets out and kids have more access to recreation and screen time.
Kim Skidmore is the Director of Forensic Services at DCAC. She says those looking to harm children step up their efforts as the schools let out for summer.
“A lot of times they might be exploited to send pictures, or they might receive pictures of someone else,” Skidmore said. “Kids may not know boundaries, so they may be giving their address to people or they may be talking to these people and forming what they think is a strong bond or forming a relationship and trusting them. And once you trust someone they have access to whatever they want.”
Skidmore said forms of abuse on children like this can easily lead to trafficking cases.
According to DCAC, in the last year they have logged more than 27,000 cases of different forms of child abuse — many involving strangers. Now they want parents to know the signs.
To help, the DCAC is preparing to kick off the first of several public lecture series events to teach parents and guardians how to detect these type of predatory attacks on kids and how to handle it and report the crimes to authorities.
Skidmore said, “The biggest thing you can do is have open honest conversations with your kids and we want to empower parents to do that.”
The lecture series is open to the public and will be held at the DCAC facility on Wednesday, May 18 beginning at 5:30 p.m. DCAC is located at 5351 Samuell Blvd. Dallas, TX 75228.