Wake up, people! Coaches, teachers, clergy, mentors and other trusted adults are traumatizing our youth, perpetrating sex crimes against them ("Ex-teacher charged with sexual abuse," Oct. 10). We read and hear about it every day.

Some estimates say that as many as one in six boys and one in four girls experience some type of sexual abuse or exploitation by the time they're 18 -- numbers that represent only those courageous enough to report abuse.

You can change that. Ask those in charge of your child's school, day care or sports teams -- as well as your communities of faith -- what policies are in place to protect children from sexual abuse. Then find out if those who manage the programs know how to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities.

Holding accountable those organizations that serve youth is a small but powerful move that reduces the chances of more children being victimized. If you can't do that one, simple thing to protect our community's children, brace yourself.

Tomorrow, you may find that the Star Tribune has renamed the "Metro" section to the more accurate "Molestation" section.