The All-Too-Real Story Every Parent Fears
It sounds more like a Made-for-TV movie on Lifetime than something you’d read in the local paper. But, sadly, this story is all too real.
Also like many others, she did what so most young girls do to start out — picked up a babysitting job for a family in the neighborhood.
And that’s where the story takes a terrible turn.
But it didn’t happen on day 1. No, in fact, it happened over a couple of summers. The father who hired the girl to watch his child started out slowly…he was “grooming her,” as they call it. But his careful plot led to him sexually assaulting her repeatedly. This girl was smart and brave…and taped him. So he was heard describing the assault!)
And as parents all over Chandler – and the country – breathe a sigh of relief that it wasn’t their daughter, they also know, deep down, they may have just been lucky this time.
Perhaps the most shocking example we’ve all seen was the case of Larry Nassar, the defamed doctor who sexually assaulted hundreds of Olympic level athletes by convincing their parents he was “treating” them.
The scariest part is that men like this hide in plain sight. And we’ve seen too often that kids can have a hard time trusting their instincts and can be scared into silence.
They are your neighbors, coaches, doctors, friends…and you can’t imagine they would ever do anything to hurt your little girl.
And the vast majority of them absolutely wouldn’t.
But how can you tell them apart?
Unfortunately, predators spend a lot of time working on not being discovered.
And to make it even more challenging, 70% of sexual crimes go unreported. So even running a criminal background check isn’t enough.
That’s why SafetyPIN – the Universal Trust Badge – worked with experts in criminal profiling and forensic psychology to build a more thorough way to screen.
We created SafetyPIN mainly to help protect your family when you were hiring someone on online or renting an Airbnb. But the more we talk to parents, the more we hear they want it for coaches, neighbors driving their kids, and more. Because SafetyPIN’s 4-prong screening algorithm was designed especially to weed out people who would potentially harm your child.
To begin, SafetyPIN’s screening goes further and deeper than any standard background check, includes a proprietary behavioral review (created by criminal profilers), and allows you to verify someone’s Trust Badge quickly and easily.
When we first introduced SafetyPIN, parents told us they would only hire babysitters with one. But as we grow, more and more parents say they only want their daughters to babysit in homes where the parents have them, too.
We know it can be awkward to ask a neighbor about their background – or even to ask them to apply for a SafetyPIN. But, as parents, they should understand you’re just protecting your kid. And if they don’t, maybe she’s better off finding a different summer job.
Talk to your child about who she’s thinking of working for and figure out which one of you should ask for a SafetyPIN. And if the parents don’t have theirs yet, it’s only $1 to apply and most applications are approved in under 24 hours. Plus, we never share any private information about their past or their application with anyone. So any person who says, “No” probably isn’t someone you want your kids spending time alone with.
Most background checks only screen the “National Criminal Database,” which excludes 22 states completely, and leaves out a LOT of counties across 12 other states. Better background checks will screen down to the county someone lives in, and, in some cases, the counties they’ve lived in for the past 7 years. But we know criminals don’t stop at the county line – so neither do we.
Forty-year-old Phoebe was applying to be a house-sitter. Our review showed she’d been arrested for shoplifting when she was 33. That’s a little too old to write-off as a youthful indiscretion. When our experts asked Phoebe for more details, her answers became defensive and she refused to explain any circumstances around her arrest. Most background checks would overlook a single
This is a case we often talk about in our offices. Bill applied for a SafetyPIN in mid-June. From the beginning, there was something about his application and information that concerned us, but we couldn’t put our finger on it at first. It certainly didn’t help that he called customer service almost every day to ask about the status of his SafetyPIN.