#StaySafe: Child Sexual Abuse - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

#StaySafe: Child Sexual Abuse

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Sexual predators can be all around us. A lot of the time, they could be our closest friends and relatives.So how do you keep your child safe from sexual abuse? Sexual predators can be all around us. A lot of the time, they could be our closest friends and relatives.So how do you keep your child safe from sexual abuse?

NBCRightNow.com - Sexual predators can be all around us. A lot of the time, they could be our closest friends and relatives. 

So how do you keep your child safe from sexual abuse?

Tedd Cadd's abuse started when he was just five years old. "When my dad abused me for those years, he held a 38 caliber pistol to my head and told me he would kill me I ever told anybody." Cadd said, "I looked at it as normal...but I certainly felt different." 

What began as beltings, turned into sexual assault, that continued for years.

"I was not going to let anybody know, the way I would have put it is, what I had done, not what was being to to me," Cadd explained. 

The abuse continued with incidents with a teenage neighbor and an adult man who lured him into his home offering pop and comics.

"He actually learned my name several months before he first saw me and invited me into his home," Cadd said. 

For decades he lived in silence.

"Nobody knew for 38 years."

His story is shared by one in five boys and one in three girls. 

Jodee Garretson says SARC in Kennewick helps 400 new clients every year.

300 of them are under the age of 18. 

"Parents often blame themselves for allowing their kids access to these adults but really they've been groomed at those times too," said Garretson. 

He added red flags include a child feeling uncomfortable with someone, or acting different when returning home.

Parents should keep an out for adults that take special interests in a child or offer to send an unusual amount of time with them.

She also encourages parents to use appropriate names for body parts and motivate kids to say no to adults if they don't feel safe.

She says if your child does open up to you about sexual abuse, stay calm do not ask question and tell the child you believe them, then can law enforcement. 

"Abuse crosses all economic lines, ethnic boundaries, neighborhoods, professions. People often like to think who a sex offender might be or what they look like but that's not reality," Garretson concluded. 

Cadd now volunteers at SARC in Kennewick. 

They help people make that first call to law enforcement if they suspect child sexual abuse.

SARC also has many other support services for victims of sexual abuse and their families. To learn more, click here.

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