Get educated on the crime of child sexual abuse. -Hard topic, but critical to understand. -Know the enemy. It’s much easier to fight the enemy if we know who and what they are. And make no mistake…anyone who wants to sexually violate a child is an enemy. -Utilize any/all available resources to learn all that you can.
Get educated on sexual predators of children. -How they do what they do. -How they groom children and their families. -How they silence children. -What they count on from each and every one of us, including the systems in place that are supposed to protect children.
Continue Education / Keep Up-To-Date -Sexual Predators are constantly looking for and finding new ways to get to children. Know them. -Understand how sexual predators use the internet, cell phones, etc… to get to children.
As a parent, we hope to do everything we can to love, nurture and protect our children. But unfortunately we miss it sometimes. Between the juggling of parenting, work, sports activities, etc. we honestly do not see everything.
Dear Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, friends,
We need you to help be our extra set of eyes. Help us to see the things we can’t or may not want to see so that our children, your family, will be protected. Till this very day my mother swears she never knew or saw that I was being sexually abused by my step father. She never noticed the changes in my behavior, how I was around him or when a baby was forming in my tiny body.
But guess who did? My Aunt..my grandmother. Although my mom did not receive the information that was being shared with her they still told her no matter what.
How glad I was to later learn that there was an extra set of eyes watching me when I was growing up! As an over comer of child sexual abuse, let me say “We need four eyes.”
We talk to our children about many things… the importance of education, the dangers of drugs and alcohol, etc… We may even mention to our little ones that no one should ever touch their private parts and we assume that if anyone ever did, that our child would tell us. In addition, we teach our children to never talk to strangers. The problem with stopping there is that 90 – 95% of children who are sexually abused know the abuser. These sexual predators of children are not strangers in most cases. The fear is that by not talking to children about sexual abuse, parents may be unknowingly and unintentionally enabling their children to be “easy prey” for the many sexual predators out there.
You cannot equip or protect your child from sexual abuse without becoming educated on this crime and then talking to your child…specifically about rape, incest, molestation and sexual exploitation; at the age-appropriate level. There is still no guarantee of prevention. However, the likelihood of prevention is so much greater when both you and your child are educated on this crime.
Children need to know the dangers out there. They need to know that if this happens or is happening to them, that they can come to you. They need to know that no matter who may be doing this to them, that you will believe them. They need to feel safe to tell on the abuser no matter who the perpetrator is.
Most children are sexually abused and silenced by someone they know and in far too many cases, by someone they love and trust. Explain to your child that although they are generally expected to respect adults and authority, that there are exceptions to that rule. Teach them it is ok to say “No” and that it is important that they “Tell”.
Learn All that You Can Talk to Your Child Minimize the Risk Look for Warning Signs Know Your Child’s Surroundings Inquire about Safety Precautions Taken by Others Familiarity With The Statistics Tell Others Break the Cycle in Your Family
Never assume that just because you know where your child is & who they are with, that this could not happen to them.
The Sexual Abuse of Children can & does happen every single day in America & around the World…to countless numbers of children. It is important to understand that 90 – 95% of children who are molested, raped and/or exploited know the person abusing them & in many cases, the child loves & trusts that person.
The first step in prevention is understanding that there is an enemy out there…and there are many enemies out there who are harming children of all ages.
Susan Suafoa-Dinino, Pesident/Founder, SpeakingOut against Child Sexual Abuse, Inc.