TALK TO YOUR CHILD…
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”.