Counselor Highlights Warning Signs Of Sexual Abuse At School

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A director of a safe place catered for children who have suffered sexual abuse stated there are signs parents can be aware of.

Jackie Hamilton, the executive director of Hamilton House, said if parents is concerned a teacher or coach is having an inappropriate relationship with their child, be cautious of any of these signs:

  • obvious or inappropriate preferential treatment of the student
  • students may be referred to as a teacher's pet
  • offering to drive a student to or from school
  • befriending the parents themselves and making visits to their home
  • inappropriate contact with the student in the form of calls, emails, or texts

Hamilton also said it is extremely rare that a young person voluntarily would report the relationship.

"It's very unusual," she said. "I think sometimes it's really hard to do the right thing the older you are. Simply because someone's going to say well he had a choice or she had a choice."

Hamilton said in child sexual abuse cases, coaches are involved 15 percent of the time. She stated teachers are involved in 18 percent of the cases.

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