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Help your child prevent sexual abuse.


ACCORDING TO STATISTICS, ONLY 10% OF PERPETRATORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE AGAINST CHILDREN ARE STRANGERS AND ABOUT 25% OF THESE ABUSERS ARE CHILDREN THEMSELVES. It is therefore necessary that we teach our children as early as possible about how to protect themselves against sexual abuse especially because of their innocence and ignorance in this area. Have these discussions early and often. One discussion is not enough.

1. Talk about body parts early.

Name body parts and talk about them early. Use proper names for body parts --or at least teach your child what the actual words are for their body parts. If a child needs to make a disclosure of abuse the use of unclear words make their story confusing.

2. Teach them that body parts are private. Tell your child that their private parts are called private because their private parts are not for everyone to see. Explain that mommy and daddy can see them naked, but people outside of the home should only see them with their clothes on--unless mommy and daddy are there too, for instance with a doctor.

3. Teach your child body boundaries.

Tell your child matter-of-factly that no one should touch their private parts and that no one should ask them to touch somebody else's private parts. Sexual abuse often begins with the perpetrator asking the child to touch them or someone else. Tell your child that a body touch might tickle or feel good, but it should always be stopped immediately.

4. Tell your child 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 as 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 child that no matter what anyone tells them, body secrets are NEVER okay and they should ALWAYS tell you about them. Tell your child they will never get in trouble with you if they tell you a body secret.

5. Tell your child that no one should take pictures of their private parts. Tell your child that no one should EVER, EVER, EVER take pictures of their private parts.

6. Teach your child how to get out of scary or uncomfortable situations.

Some children are uncomfortable with telling people "No," especially older peers or adults. Help give them excuses to get out of uncomfortable situations such as making the excuse that they need to go potty.

7. Have a code word your child can use when they feel unsafe or want to be picked up.

As children get a little bit older, you can give them a code word that they can use when they are feeling unsafe. This can be used at home, when there are guests in the house or when they are on a play date or a sleepover

8. Tell your child that even if they know someone or even if it is another child--these rules are the same.

Be sure to mention to your child that no one can touch their private parts. You can say something like, "No one should touch your private parts. Mommy and daddy might touch you when we are cleaning, but no one else should touch you there. Not friends, not aunts or uncles, not teachers or coaches--no one. Even if you like them or think they are in charge or nice people, they should still not touch your private parts."
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Publication:Sister Namibia
Geographic Code:6NAMI
Date:Apr 1, 2016
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