5 Ways To Protect Your Children From Sexual Abuse
One of any parent's worst nightmares is learning that their child has been sexually abused and assaulted. It is extremely traumatic for the child and in most cases, it can be preventable.
Educate2Empower published a very useful picture that gives both parents and kids a clear idea of how to prevent sexual assault when it comes to kids.
The publication also shared five important tips for parents who want to keep their children from becoming victims.
1. Teach children their rights
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From a very young age, teach your children that their body is theirs and they have a right to decide what they do and don't want to do with it. Empower them by letting them know they have choices and can choose to say no, even when it comes to giving hugs and kisses to relatives if they don't want to.
2. A safety network
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This is a group of people usually made up of two to five adults your child trusts. These are people that your child feels safe enough to tell anything to and they will be believed. These adults will listen to your child and are always accessible.
3. Let them know the early warning signs
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Not all kids are even aware they are being abused, but there are physical and emotional manifestations when a child feels unsafe and uncomfortable. So, talk to your child about these warning signs. If they feel sick, afraid or shaky about certain situations or around certain people, they should tell someone in their safety network immediately.
4. Be frank and clear on the topic of private parts
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Call private parts by their names. Teach them to never let anyone (a child, teen or adult) touch them there. If someone tries to, they should say 'no' or 'stop' and they should immediately tell a trusted adult. Reinforce that they must continue to report this until they are believed.
5. Discourage secrets
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Your child should not be encouraged to keep secrets. If you're planning a surprise party, for instance, call it happy surprises and explain that those kinds of secrets will be told eventually. But keeping something to themselves especially when it makes them uncomfortable should never happen.
If we keep that line of communication open with our kids, not only will they feel safe enough to talk to us, we can also quickly spot changes and warning signs in them.