There have been two cases of martial arts instructors in Wisconsin reportedly sexually assaulting underage students in just over a month. An advocate has tips for parents for preventing or dealing with similar situations.
Linda Morrison of the Wisconsin Coalition against Sexual Assault says you never can tell who the perpetrators might be. She gives examples of where neighbors or colleagues are often stunned to the news of abuse by someone they know.
A man who taught martial arts in Brookfield was charged last month for sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy. This week in Madison, a 36-year-old Karate instructor was sentenced for his sexual relationship with a pupil who was a 14-year-old girl.
Morrison says the time to talk about it is before rather than after such an incident. In the case of a martial arts environment involving contact with adults, suspicious parents might have lay out parameters of what is and isn't appropriate touching. Morrison says the best time to have a discussion is prior to any potential abuse rather than after word.
Children should always feel welcome to speak to their parents about any uncomfortable incidents, according to the advocate. If a suspicious parent feels they don't have a strong enough level of communication with their child it's best to refer to another adult who does like an aunt, uncle or perhaps a professional counselor.