SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Many of us have heard of stranger danger, but officials tell News 3 more often it’s someone a family already knows that will take advantage of their children.
“They’re not always going to show up in a creepy van,” said Michael Rowan, with Savannah Police’s special victims unit.
He says, unfortunately, child predators can be tough to spot.
“Some of them are going to be really nice people,” said Rowan. “They’re going to look normal like me and you.”
He says the best way to protect your family is to trust your gut.
“I’m not saying all strangers are bad,” said Rowan. “Teach your kids who are good strangers, like police, fire, EMS, teachers.”
He tells me children in Savannah seem to already know about stranger danger, but more often than not, a child predator is someone you already know – which sometimes makes children cover for their abuser for fear of getting in trouble.
“Sometimes they feel like it’s their fault,” said Rowan. “Make sure your children understand they can come to you with something like that.”
Trust is the most important he says. Know where your child is, who they’re with and what they’re doing.
Rowan says Georgia police can’t actually arrest someone for asking your child to go with them somewhere unless your child actually goes with them. He did say that getting a report of someone trying to lure a child will definitely put them on SPD’s radar.