Crimes against children perpetrated by an adult get widespread local, national and even international coverage. When you add in the effect that social media can have, things can soon spiral out of control.
It can result in the general public thinking that their neighborhood is full of sexual predators waiting to pounce on their children. If you work with children, it can mean that people may be suspicious of you, regardless of your years of exemplary service to the community.
Err on the side of caution when working with children
Whether you work in a paid role or as a volunteer, it is crucial to abide by the guidelines of your governing body or other authority. Here are a few examples:
- Limit touching: Saying adults should not touch children is not always realistic. For example, a gymnastics coach needs to touch a child to correct posture. A football coach will need to touch a child who is down injured to check the severity of the injury.
- Stay visible: Avoid situations where you and a child are alone or not visible to others. The more people surround you, the less chance a false accusation can happen.
- Maintain your distance: Being a coach is not only about teaching skills. Most adults you talk to could name a coach, teacher or another such person who played a vital role in their personal development. Someone who acted as a mentor, going above and beyond their role. Yet, sadly, you need to take incredible care these days to avoid a child confiding too much in you.
It is crucial to seek legal help at the first hint of a sexual abuse allegation against you. You need to put any rumors that are circulating to bed before they go further and ruin your life. It is not something you can do alone.