Parents often teach their young children to keep themselves safe from all harm. They teach them to wash their hands to avoid germs, look both ways before crossing the street, or to watch hot plates. But, more than often, body safety is not taught until much older.
Regardless of the region, gender, or race, sexual abuse is increasingly becoming common. According to NSVRC – National Sexual Violence Resource Center, every 1 in four girls and 1 in six boys are abused sexually before they even turn 18. Almost 90% of the cases are reported against the offenders that are teachers, coaches, family friends, and neighbors.
Unfortunately, children will keep the abuse to themselves as they are threatened by the consequences. In these scenarios, it is a dire need to educate ourselves. Look at today’s how to protect your children from child abuse: a parent’s guide to having concise information about the potential threats which our children might be bearing secretly.
How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide
The Author of Predator and Child Molesters, Robin Sax and a former LA prosecutor and expert in child abuses says;
“Child predators can appear to the outside world to be warm, caring, loving, and respectful. It is these very traits that allow them to continue their horrific acts.”
Do you know that most of the sexual cases reported are committed by family members and acquaintances? CPS substantiates supporting evidence where the perpetrator is male (approx 88%). 9% are female while the rest are unknown.
Mostly teaching children about the good and bad touches can backfire. This is the reason why the old-school strategies aren’t helpful enough to sort out the difference. For instance, child abuse not necessarily needs to be involved in a bad touch or the abuser doesn’t need to touch the child (such as the case where an adult intentionally shows pornography to a child and tells them to expose their bodies for the kind of photos in an exchange of something and sometimes nothing). The situation falls true especially when the abuser has gained your child’s trust by being the most supportive person.
Things like these shed children’s confidence and unfortunately, they keep the abuse a secret as they are often confused, feel guilty, or scared. The founder of a non-profit organization in Charleston, Anne Lee says:
“An abuser typically shames his victim or threatens a child with what will happen if she tells,”
This is why it’s more important to encourage children and give them the confidence to ask for help if things happen like these or any other which makes them uncomfortable or confused, rather than suggesting to children ways what she should do like ‘she should scream or run’.
The word should put all the burden on the child giving unintended messages that she is responsible for her abuse for not running or screaming on time.
How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse?
Strategy 1: Talk to your child
- One of the best prevention is to start a different but difficult conversation making sure that the words you use while speaking to your child are age-appropriate. Plus, you should also tell them to trust your instincts. If anything bothers them, like if anybody is eagerly wanting to touch or hold her hands from their friends, neighborhood, coach, or someone in the church. If they get a bad vibe, report to you.
Strategy 2: Take your child into trust
- One in many children dare to report the abuse, others only wait to get older when they are allowed to say things like that. Therefore, you must see the warning signs. If she tells you that she is not comfortable doing the activity at school or with a particular person or does not want to attend certain events, listen to her carefully.
- Some children suddenly begin to remain quiet. This probably happens when they are constantly abused by a close family friend. These children usually dreaded attending family gatherings.
- Some children show their concerns through physical signs like swelling or redness at the genital area or urinary infections. Many others can have a stomachache, sudden bedwetting, headaches, sleeping problem, drop in grades, and withdrawal.
If you see red flags including sudden changes in mood, behavior, or body, then investigate on your own.
Strategy 3: Focus on their vocabulary
- It also greatly depends on your child’s age to use the specific vocabulary. No, untie the euphemism, call out the private parts with their name to decrease the probable confusion which automatically raises your child’s ability to understand the complex sexual situation. Tell her that except you, her parents, herself, and her doctor, no one is allowed to touch and if someone does, she must tell you without thinking twice.
- Tell your children explicitly that if anything wrong happens she can instantly tell you and you won’t be mad. You’ll love her and care for her regardless of what has happened
Strategy 4: Impose boundaries between friends, family, and relatives
- It is also important to impose boundaries between relatives and family friends. Support your children when they say no to kisses and hugs. Don’t hold yourself until you witness wrongdoings yourself. Children need to hear that if someone sexually behaves with them they can come to you any time and that will discourage the most powerful weapon of the abuser, fear, and shame.
Strategy 5: Focus on educating your child
- Child abuse experts emphasize upon considering educating your child about the use of the internet. Explain to them they should not disclose their personal information and respond to any message that she feels uncomfortable with.
Strategy 6: Put monitoring devices
- Monitoring devices is another way to prevent children from abuse. Most children using the internet accidentally land on pornography websites from their smartphones and gaming websites when they are connected to the internet. Most parents do not realize that their children can easily land on these websites and how bad they are affecting their children’s sexual health. Consult your device manager and put a parental lock on such websites and limit access to games with mature content.
Strategy 7: Ask them to share problems with a trusted person
- Children often cannot disclose themselves to parents directly for multiple reasons. Encourage them to seek out the adults whether their teacher, principal, or sister whomever they are comfortable with if something or someone is disturbing them.
Undoubtedly, it is important to remain aware of the red flags the children are not openly responsive to. However, parents can play their role in preventing their children from sexual abuse by investing in society. Encourage not only your children but the community leaders to arrange support programs for children and families.
Suggest local lawmakers bring out legislation in the support of abused victims and families to improve their lives.