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How to Talk with Your Child about Inappropriate Relationships with Adults

Posted at 6:39 PM, Mar 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-20 09:57:08-04

The Executive Director for the National Children's Advocacy Center stressed how important it is to talk to your kids about inappropriate relationships with adults when they are young.

He told WAAY 31 about 97% of sexual assault cases involving children happen with someone they know.

"Every case is unique. Most people who commit a sexual offense don't get caught the first time," said Chris Newlin Executive Director of the National Children's Advocacy Center.

He explained to WAAY 31 the "fantasy" attached to student- teacher relationships and why they sometimes happens so easily.

"A lot of times there is this romanticized nature of a relationship. although really it's just manipulation. It's just an adult taking advantage of a child that's not as worldly," he said.

The Tennessee bureau of investigation called Elizabeth Thomas "a vulnerable girl." They continued by stating Cummins may have been abusing his role as a teacher.

Newlin said being abused by someone you know and trust is common.

"Most children who are sexually abused are by someone they know, someone the family knows , someone who is at least known to others who are around that child. that's who has access to kids," he said.

WAAY 31 wanted to know how parent should begin a conversation to address the topic.  

"It's important for parents and kids to be able to have this dialogue about I want to make sure you're safe and okay. No matter what the situation is you can talk to me about it and I'm not going to be angry with you . I want to support you and help you in anyway I can," Newlin said.

If parents suspect their kids are involved in a sexually abusive relationships with a teacher addressing it calmly is the best way to go.

"Parents may say if anyone ever abused my child I'd kill them. What that does is says to a child oh my gosh if I disclose what's happening my mom or dad is going to commit murder. Then they will be in prison the rest of their life," Newlin said.