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Who's Most Likely To Sexually Abuse A Child? The Answer Shocked Me — But It Is Important To Know.

You can tell kids not to take candy from strangers, but don't *only* tell them that. Making it all about "stranger danger" is turning out to be far less helpful than you'd think.Trigger warning: Some graphic discussion of sexual abuse.

Who's Most Likely To Sexually Abuse A Child? The Answer Shocked Me — But It Is Important To Know.

From a young age, we learn to be careful with strangers. When we're older, we protect our kids from strangers.

By strangers, we mean adult strangers. And when we protect children, we protect them mainly from the threat of sexual abuse.

But what if all the things we knew about keeping our children safe weren't enough?


There are ways we can teach children best practices on avoiding adult sexual predators — but that's not enough. Actually, that kind of misses the real danger.

Dr. Nina Burrowes has a few things to tell us on child sexual abuse that might be difficult to accept.

For example:

Children are more likely to be sexually abused by other children than by adult strangers.

And:

Children are more likely to be sexually abused by someone they know than by a stranger.

Shocking? Yes. True? Sadly, yes.

But we shouldn't let the truth stop us from creating a better world for children. In fact, the truth is a good place to start.

Listen to Dr. Burrowes share her wisdom on keeping kids safe from sexual abuse.

I do disagree with her brief message about porn at 4:14 — after all, not all porn is violent, and even violent porn isn't the only factor in children not learning about consent and boundaries. A lack of proper safe and consensual sex education also ties into that.

With all that said, Dr. Burrowes' overall message is important, and it's one I hope all parents and caretakers of children can learn from.

FACT CHECK TIME!

In an email to Upworthy, Dr. Burrowes cited a paper by Eileen Vizard in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, which sets out the rough prevalence rates of children who abuse on page 2. The number she used: 30%.

For the prevalence of stranger sexual abuse of children, Dr. Burrowes used a figure of 10% based on this childhood sexual abuse fact sheet, though she specified:

    "Personally I believe that is a conservative example as stranger attacks are more likely to be reported than attacks by people known to the victim."

Here's a quick review of what our fact-checkers found:

  • The U.S. Department of Justice's National Sex Offender Public Website appears to support this trend of child sexual abuse by children outnumbering rates of child sexual abuse by strangers.
  • According to the NSOPW, 10% of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are strangers to the child (60% are known but not family members, and 30% are family members). By comparison, 23% of reported cases of child sex abuse are by perpetrators who are under the age of 18.
  • Still, that's comparing apples to oranges. The first number is an estimate. The second number is a percentage of reported cases. When you think about it, most of the child sexual abuses perpetrated by other children aren't officially reported, which supports what Dr. Burrowes says.
  • Other sources that generally support Dr. Burrowes' claim would be the Center for Sex Offender Management and Advocates for Youth.
Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

Gem is living her best life.

If you've ever dreamed of spontaneously walking out the door and treating yourself a day of pampering at a spa without even telling anyone, you'll love this doggo who is living your best life.

According to CTV News, a 5-year-old shepherd-cross named Gem escaped from her fenced backyard in Winnipeg early Saturday morning and ended up at the door of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Spa, five blocks away. An employee at the spa saw Gem at the gate around 6:30 a.m. and was surprised when they noticed her owners were nowhere to be seen.

"They were looking in the parking lot and saying, 'Where's your parents?'" said Shawn Bennett, one of the co-owners of the business.

The employee opened the door and Gem hopped right on in, ready and raring to go for her day of fun and relaxation.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."