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Children’s day: 11 ways to prevent your child from sexual abuse
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Children’s day: 11 ways to prevent your child from sexual abuse

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There could not have been a better time than now to protect our children from sexual abuse considering the increasing spate of sexual abuses in the society today.

Therefore, in the spirit of children’s day, we present to you tips to preventing your children from sexual harassment

 

Show interest in their day-to-day lives: It is important as parents or guidance to always ask your children what they did during the day and who they did it with. Who did they sit with at lunchtime? What games did they play after school? Did they enjoy themselves?

Get to know the people in your child’s life. Know who your child is spending time with, including other children and adults. Ask your child about the kids they go to school with, the parents of their friends, and other people they may encounter, such as teammates or coaches. Talk about these people openly and ask questions so that your child can feel comfortable doing the same.

Choose caregivers carefully: Whether it’s a babysitter, a new school, or an afterschool activity, be careful and diligent about screening caregivers for your child.

Talk about body parts early.

Name body parts and talk about them very early. Use proper names for body parts, or at least teach your child what the actual words are for their body parts. Feeling comfortable using these words and knowing what they mean can help a child talk clearly if something inappropriate has happened

Teach them that some body parts are private: Tell your children that their private parts are called private because they are not for everyone to see. Tell them that people outside should only see them with their clothes on.

Tell your children that body secrets are not okay.

Most perpetrators will tell the child to keep the abuse a secret. This can be done in a friendly way, such as, “I love playing with you, but if you tell anyone else what we played they won’t let me come over again.” Or it can be a threat: “This is our secret. If you tell anyone I will tell them it was your idea and you will get in big trouble!” Tell your kids that no matter what anyone tells them, body secrets are not okay and they should always tell you if someone tries to make them keep a body secret.

Tell your children they will never be in trouble if they tell you a body secret.

Children often believe that not saying anything would save them from trouble. This fear is often used by the perpetrator. Tell your child that no matter what happens, when they tell you anything about body safety or body secrets they will never get in trouble.

Know the warning signs: Become familiar with the warning signs of child sexual abuse, and notice any changes with your child, no matter how small. Whether it’s happening to your child or a child you know, you have the potential to make a big difference in that person’s life by stepping in.

Encourage children to speak up:

When someone knows that their voice will be heard and taken seriously, it gives them the courage to speak up when something isn’t right. You can start having these conversations with your children as soon as they begin using words to talk about feelings or emotions.

Be available: Set time aside to spend with your child where they have your undivided attention. Let your child know that they can come to you if they have questions or if someone is talking to them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. If they do come to you with questions or concerns, follow through on your word and make the time to talk.

Give them the chance to raise new topics. Sometimes asking direct questions like, “Did you have fun?” and “Was it a good time?” won’t give you the answers you need. Give your child a chance to bring up their own concerns or ideas by asking open-ended questions like “Is there anything else you wanted to talk about?”

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