While you may never expect that your child would be a victim of child abuse, you can never be too careful. Child abuse is a widespread problem in this nation with over three-million children abused annually, according to the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse. In light of this shocking information, it is best for parents to know how to help protect their children.
Protecting your children from emotional, verbal, physical, and sexual abuse may seem difficult to do, especially since you cannot be with your kids every second of the day. However, you can help keep your son or daughter as safe as possible by teaching him or her about sexual abuse protection. You can do this simply by having a conversation with your child and explaining the following 10 safety tips, including:
- What abuse is and what it is not.
- The differences between a good touch and bad touch.
- It is okay to say “no” if you feel uncomfortable.
- Always listen to your gut or that feeling inside of you when something isn’t right.
- Tell your parent or a trusted adult if another adult or older child has inappropriately touched you.
- Don’t keep quiet about being abused, even if an abuser threatened you.
- Don’t go anywhere with another adult without your parent’s permission.
- Never get into a stranger’s car.
- Don’t accept “just because” gifts or money from adults.
- Always talk with mom or dad if you are concerned about anything.
Talking About These Tips With Your Children Is the Best Way to Help Protect Them From Sexual Abuse
Unfortunately, childhood sexual abuse can occur without your knowledge—even at the hands of people your children trust such as teachers, aids, coaches, troop leaders, church leaders, and other adults involved in their lives. For this reason, it is always good to encourage open communication with your children and to be on the lookout for changes in your children’s behaviors. When children are abused, they often feel fearful, angry, and guilty.
If your child does tell you that he or she has been sexually abused, you need to believe him or her because children rarely lie about this. By believing your child, reassuring him or her that he or she is doing the right thing by telling, and getting your child psychological and legal help, you will be able to help your son or daughter cope in the best way possible.