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Seventh-Grader Touching Young Girls
Q: There's a large seventh-grade boy on our block who has, on several occasions, touched two of our young (under six) girls in ways that horrify us mothers. He picked up a three-year-old and was rubbing under her dress until a mom saw and grabbed her, and another time he was rubbing himself on a five-year-old. We are afraid and angry but not sure how to handle this other than hiding our children indoors. Please advise us. Signed, four moms.
A: What you describe is damaging criminal behavior, and I suggest the police be informed as soon as you're done scrolling through this answer. That is the most likely way that this boy will get the intervention he needs, and your children will get the protection they need. You are in an urgent situation that needs to be changed, even though some of the changes won't be easy. You know the phone number: 911.
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Gavin de Becker is widely regarded as the leading U.S. expert on the prediction and management of violence. His work has earned him three Presidential appointments and a position on a congressional committee. He is currently co-chair of the Domestic Violence Council Advisory Board, and a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Policy.