Tonight's special guest is Eric Schneider from Laguna Beach, California, a child abuse survivor and author of "The Choir Boy: Why I turned to a Life of Crime with the Whitey Bulger Gang after being Raped by my Scoutmaster." Just recently, bill # H4126 was passed 145-0 in the Massachusetts House of Representatives that eliminates the statute of limitations for sex offenders. The bill will soon be passed into law, and other states will follow suit. Sexual abuse of children is more common than parents think because young victims are threatened by their abusers not to tell anyone. It’s important that parents and other caregivers recognize signs of sexual abuse and assure children that it’s safe to talk about whatever might be bothering them. The warnings signs are significant changes in a child’s behavior, such as extreme aggression, being often withdrawn, fear of going home, etc. There can be many other signs. If you suspect something, or a child claims that someone touched him or her inappropriately, only four questions should be asked: 1) what happened, 2) who did it, 3) when did it happen, and 4) where did it happen. Listen, but don’t push for more information. Tell the child that you believe him, it’s not his fault, and it was right for him to tell you. Then call the police or your local child protective service to do the investigating. Don't try to resolve the situation yourself. If you aren't certain what to do or have questions, call the 24-hour ChildHelp National Child abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child. All calls are anonymous and confidential. This advice comes from ChildHelp and Eric Schneider, who was abused as a child and recounts in detail the incredible consequences he faced in his new book, "The Choir Boy."
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