WASHINGTON – Area residents remain on edge after a 17-year-old girl was attacked on Tuesday at the Thomas Jefferson Library in Falls Church, Va. The victim ducked into a bathroom trying to escape a man she thought was following her and he cornered her there.
Advocacy groups say the best thing to do in that type of situation is to find a trusted adult and warn that older kids are often targets.
“Avoid isolated areas where you may face the perpetrator one on one,” says spokeswoman Katherine Hull for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. “Even if you are in a familiar place, it’s really important not to be lulled into a false sense of security.”
RAINN offers these tips to parents and their children on how to avoid dangerous situations:
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also warns parents that while young children are often thought of as the target of predators, the group says that 11- to 17-year-olds are equally likely to be victims.
For help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE or contact them online.
WTOP’s John Aaron contributed to this report.
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