Protecting Your Kids from Sex AbuseBy Child Safety Specialist December 07, 2011 | 02:00 PMPosted in: Child Safety, Family
not easy to listen to the disgusting details coming out in the Penn State and
Syracuse sex abuse cases. We’d like to
believe that incidents like this happen to people we don’t know and the
perpetrator is some “bad guy.”
Unfortunately the reality is we probably know someone who has been
abused and the “bad guy” is someone we’d least suspect.
to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 1 out of 5 girls and 1 out of 10
boys will be sexually abused during their childhood. And the vast majority of child
abusers are trusted relatives, friends or authority figures in our child’s
discussing sex abuse with your child might be uncomfortable, it’s a
conversation that needs to start early and continue throughout their
Don’t make assumptions – You might think your
child understands that inappropriate touching by an older person is wrong but
that’s not necessarily the case. Be sure
to teach your child the appropriate words for all of their body parts and that
it isn’t “bad” or “dirty” to discuss this with you.
Always believe your child – This might sound
obvious, but when the allegation of sex abuse is against a new step-parent,
grandfather or sibling the immediate inclination is to deny. Your child needs to know that it’s safe to tell
you and that you will protect them and believe them no matter what.
It’s OK to say no! - Generations of kids have been taught to
respect their elders. A teacher, coach,
neighbor or family member who is an abuser will intimidate a child into not
discussing the abuse for fear they will not be believed, something bad will
happen to the abuser or to the victim’s family.
The abuser will offer gifts and special treats. It’s up to you to teach your child that no one is allowed to touch them
in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable and it’s OK to say no to anyone!
Know your community – Check the National SexOffenders Public Website to be sure that no one
in your area is listed. Check with all
afterschool activities and daycare facilities that your child attends to be
sure they do thorough background
checks on all of their employees.
Kids need to understand that most adults are not
going to abuse them but that it is not appropriate for any adult to ask to be
their friend or keep secrets. If anyone makes them feel bad,
uncomfortable or scared with their words or actions they should tell you
Is your teen in danger of being threatened with “sextortion?” What every parent needs to know!
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