Help prevent sexual abuse with these warning signs

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - With reports of sexual abuse at Penn State making headlines recently, there are some warning signs that parents should look out for any time their child spends time with a person in a position of trust.

Experts say parents should always assume the worst and tell someone about it.

Regardless of who was at fault for not reporting the Jerry Sandusky situation at Penn State, one thing is clear - someone dropped the ball.

"I think the main message in this sad saga is that there is no internal investigation when it comes to child abuse," said Brian Gregg with Hamilton County Job and Family Services. "And you need to immediately alert officials when something like this is suspected."

Gregg says when it comes to young children and possible child abuse, one simple question should be asked.

"Is there something wrong here?" said Gregg. "Does your gut say something is wrong here and if there is tell us. It's do ask, do tell."

Gregg says the warning signs can vary depending on a child's age, but there are a few clear indicators that something isn't right.

"Are they talking about things they really shouldn't be talking about? Are they doing drawings that are maybe inappropriate? Are they acting out in an inappropriate way?" said Gregg. "So its kind of their behavior and whether or not its age appropriate."

HCJFS has a complete program designed to make it easier for everyone involved to get to the bottom of any suspected case of child abuse.

"We take this very seriously. We make sure if at all possible we are doing everything we can on behalf of these children," said Gregg.

The state of Ohio has what it calls mandated reporters, such as physicians, therapists, teachers and other professionals who work with children and are required by law to report any suspected cases of child abuse.

If you suspect your child is a victim of sexual abuse, call 241-KIDS.

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