How to Give Your Kids Tools to Spot Abuse
Warning your kids about predators who sexually abuse children is enough to make your heart hit the floor. Your mind doesn't want to go there, but talking openly, though temporarily uncomfortable, will help keep your child safe.
Sex assault education
It's hard for kids to grasp the difference between affection and sexual abuse, says Caffee Wright, a certified juvenile sex offense counselor and author of When Touching Hurts, a book to help children understand inappropriate sexual touching and boundaries.
According to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 44 percent of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 18. Ninety three percent of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.
Education is the key to protecting children from sexual abuse. Talk to children on their level. Broach the subject in a safe environment and without instilling fear. Many times when kids are abused, it occurs in such a manipulative manner, they don't always recognize what's happening, says Wright.
Wright's ways to empower your kids
Teach your children that their bodies belong to them no one should look at or touch their private parts (even if they ask first). They also need to know that they should never touch someone else's private parts.
Explain that your kids need boundaries so they can define their personal space. If it helps, they can place a hula hoop around them for a concrete visual of a personal boundary.
Kids need to tell someone if they are touched inappropriately.
Sexual abuse is the adult's fault and it's not because of anything bad that children do.
Wright's tips for parents
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