Program aims to teach warning signs of child sex abuse

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WOODBURY -

A new program aims to teach people how to recognize signs that a child may be the victim of sexual abuse.

A child is sexually assaulted in the United States every eight minutes, according to the Crime Victims Center, which is a program of Parents for Megan's Law. The two have launched an online tutorial that teaches parents and caregivers how to prevent, detect and report sexual abuse of children, and teenagers.

The online course outlines the tricks sexual predators use and provides lessons on how to teach kids what to look out for.

"That all comes from parents whose children were sexually victimized and they gave us information and we turned all of that into 10 rules for safety, 27 tricks and 11 red flags," says Laura Ahearn, of Parents for Megan's Law.

There's also a companion kit that includes a children's coloring book highlighting 10 rules for safety and a wristband that says, "I'm in charge!"

The Suffolk PTA calls the online course an important tool for parents and says it look forward to working with the organization in the future.

The online courses are free for everyone. The companion kit is available to Suffolk residents at a small cost.

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