Children bear no fault if they become a victim of sexual abuse.
When they’re given age-appropriate tips on how to protect themselves, they can play a role in keeping safe.
Some conversations may make you squirm, but you are your child’s best and most trusted resource. If you can equip your child with helpful basic information, your child will feel more confident, and you will too.
You can teach them as young as four:
- About personal rights and how no one should touch the private parts of their bodies without permission. (Explain to your child about appropriate exams from a doctor and how typically, you will be present.)
- To say “No” or to resist when someone touches them in a manner that makes them uncomfortable.
- Not to keep secrets about experiences that don’t feel right, or to hide fears from one or both parents because another person insists. Explain the difference between a fun secret (such as a surprise birthday party or holiday gift) and one that hurts (such as someone threatening to harm if they tell).
- That all strangers aren’t bad, and no one they know (friend or relative) has the right to cross their personal boundaries.
- If something bad happens, it is not their fault. They should immediately tell an adult they trust.
Statistics show that most perpetrators of child sexual abuse are adults known to children.
Children are less likely to maintain an unfortunate silence when they have information on how to handle a potentially unsafe situation.
Keeping kids safe is an adult’s job.
Talk to your children today and let them know they can come to you. If they do, believe them and seek help.