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Keeping children safe from predators

Ken Wooden, renowned speaker and child sexual abuse expert, speaks to families in the Keystone Theater on Kadena Air Base, Japan, Aug. 27, about sexual predators and the lures they use to trap child and young adult victims.  Mr. Wooden travels around the world educating children and their families about being proactive to counter sexual predators.  He has also made a variety of television appearances, including the Oprah Winfrey Show.   (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Reynaldo Ramon)

Ken Wooden, renowned speaker and child sexual abuse expert, speaks to families in the Keystone Theater on Kadena Air Base, Japan, Aug. 27, about sexual predators and the lures they use to trap child and young adult victims. Mr. Wooden travels around the world educating children and their families about being proactive to counter sexual predators. He has also made a variety of television appearances, including the Oprah Winfrey Show. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Reynaldo Ramon)

Ken Wooden, renowned speaker and child sexual abuse expert, speaks to families in the Keystone Theater on Kadena Air Base, Japan, Aug. 27, about sexual predators and the lures they use to trap child and young adult victims.  Mr. Wooden travels around the world educating children and their families about being proactive to counter sexual predators.  He has also made a variety of television appearances, including the Oprah Winfrey Show.   (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Reynaldo Ramon)

Ken Wooden, renowned speaker and child sexual abuse expert, speaks to families in the Keystone Theater on Kadena Air Base, Japan, Aug. 27, about sexual predators and the lures they use to trap child and young adult victims. Mr. Wooden travels around the world educating children and their families about being proactive to counter sexual predators. He has also made a variety of television appearances, including the Oprah Winfrey Show. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Reynaldo Ramon)

KADENA AB, Japan -- A nationally renowned child safety expert and founder of the Child Lures Prevention organization spoke at Kadena Aug. 27 about "lures" sexual predators use to trap unsuspecting children and even young adults. 

Kenneth Wooden gave specific examples to Kadena family members of lures used by these predators to manipulate their victims and take advantage of them. 

"Sex abuse of a child is a core social problem," said Mr. Wooden. "It affects everything in a child's life...their education, psychology, and health." 

For years Mr. Wooden has focused on issues affecting children, particularly sexual exploitation. Years after merely reporting on the problem, Mr. Wooden decided to proactively search for solutions. 

He was first intrigued with a newsletter called "PIE," pedophile information exchange and a section within it called, "the lure of the month." From this source, he was able to find dozens of child molesters. From there, Mr. Wooden spent years interviewing pedophiles and sex offenders in prison to understand their tactics. 

Most of the sex offenders Mr. Wooden interviewed were smooth talking and supreme con-artists. He found child molesters and abductors to be a diverse group that possess no tidy criminal profile. 

"You would enjoy having dinner with them if you didn't know their record" said Mr. Wooden. 

Pedophilia does not discriminate by race, gender, class, or age, he said. 

"Kids are targeted but military members as well," said Chief Master Sgt. Marc Hill, 18th Wing Public Affairs, who attended the seminar. 
"They are going after you through the Internet, streets, and every possible avenue." 

"It is the millions of individual sexual predators worldwide whose day-to-day actions and steadfast determination are a far greater threat to the safety of our children," said Mr. Wooden. 

Parents can't be with their children every moment of everyday. The safety slogan "don't talk to strangers" is an ineffective way that can bring greater risks. It's not enough. 

"You can't be with your kids 100 percent of the time," said Chief Hill. " I have an Internet tracking device that shows what Web sites they visit."
Kids will be kids and my children know I can scan the Web sites they go through, he added. 

"It is essential that we teach them how to recognize and evade the lures used for generations by sexual predators of every kind," said Mr. Wooden. 

Over a million children are victims of sexual abuse every year. Children are sexually abused not by strangers, but by someone they know. Parents should become familiar with internet chat rooms -- where pedophiles engage in sexual activity -- said Mr. Wooden. 

"We went through a certain incident with our daughter under "My Space" and we make sure now she's not allowed into certain sites," said Chief Hill. 

We must invest time and effort into prevention education or those numbers of victimized children will continue to rise, said Mr. Wooden. He offered a guide to assist in this effort. 

"I have a suggestion with this Parent Guide," said Mr. Wooden. "Don't force it down the throat of your teenager." 

Mr. Wooden spoke of 17 lures predators use and how children should recognize them for their safety. 

For example, predators use seduction to lure children and young adults. Using fish as a metaphor for children, Mr. Wooden describes how bait can become an attractive "lure" to them. 

"Does the fish know there's a hook under the bait?" he asked.
The children in the audience answered "no." 

Mr. Wooden stressed to children the importance of trusting and following their own instincts. It can keep them safe from dangerous people or situations he said.
With 77 million kids now online, predators have limitless opportunities to lure children. 

"Teenagers give out too much information on the Internet, making them vulnerable," said 14-year-old Alexandria Hill. 

Though no one is immune from these crimes, they can be prevented with education.
Mr. Wooden passed on important tips that predators use to lie and confuse children and young adults. They are timeless life skills necessary for the well being of your loved ones, he said. 

For more information go to: www.childluresprevention .com