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It takes a virtual village to raise a child, as several Websites make it easier for parents to protect their children from predators.
Family Watchdog at www.familywatchdog.us not only lets parents search for registered sex offenders by address, it also keeps a running tab of how many are in each state.
Enter an address and a map pops up, indicating whether an offender was charged with rape, sexual battery, or other offenses against children. The map even provides an offender’s work and home addresses. Click a marker on the map and you get a picture of the offender as well as any aliases and identifying physical characteristics.
Child safety tips for parents and children round out the site by providing a starting point for child safety awareness.
To further protect your child, log on to the National Alert Registry (www.registeredoffenderslist.org) to download a free video, Safe from Harm, which offers advice on teaching safety skills to your children. According to the registry, 2,000 children are reported missing in the United States every day. Some are runaways, but many are abducted. By distributing the video to parents, the organization hopes to lower that number substantially.
The DVD comes with a child identification package that can provide the most up-to-date identifying and medical information should law enforcement officials ever need it.
The National Alert Registry is not just for parents. It is also an excellent resource for child safety advocates to learn about the latest laws and government efforts in place to protect children from predators.