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Shelby County leads the US in sex assault safety training

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Sexual abuse affects one in ten children in the United States.

Here in Shelby County more than 13,000 adults have been trained to spot the signs of abuse thanks to a very successful program called Stewards of Children.

Mary Selvidge, a trained psychologist, said she was surprised by how much she learned in this course.

"It's all about what can we as adults do to protect them, and that is what has made all the difference," she explained.

Instructors said they teach parents how to ask their kids if someone is hurting them without just getting a yes or no answer, and how to learn about the safety policies at the places your kids go every day.

"It's a very difficult thing to say to the head of your school, hey do you have policies in place?"Selvidge explained.

They told WREG one of the key things is to make sure your kid is never in a room with another adult where other people can't see them.

Now Selvidge said she scopes out new schools much differently.

She said she even leaves these rules as a reminder for her babysitters when they go out of town.

The folks in Memphis leading the course trained more adults in the last two months than anywhere else in the country.

They said the class is not just for parents; it`s for all members of the community.

Parents who hadn't heard about it said the more people who get educated in this field, the better.

"It will help out the community in the long run. It will help out neighborhoods. It would be a good thing for everyone to learn," Robert Walton explained.

The course is offered twice a month, for free.

They said they would even come to your workplace to do the training.

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