CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE – STOP NOW!
We parents worry about how to protect our kids from the world that many times looks so dangerous.
We teach our kids so much, don’t we?
How to use scissors carefully, riding on a bicycle with helmet (~strictly~), we also talk to them about fire safety, traffic rules, rules about crossing the road like “Stop-Look-Listen-Cross”, etc. Because, we are their protectors, aren’t we?
So why educating children about their body safety is avoided by parents?
Why can’t we start educating them at early age?
Are we not well equipped with the knowledge about this subject?
Don’t we care about our kids?
Are we waiting for the day, when our child become a victim of sexual abuse by perpetrator – who can be our close relative, our family friend, neighbor, babysitter, watchman, peon or any other psychopath?
It’s our responsibility to give them the information they need to stay safe and understand what type of touches are considered as RESPECTFUL.
What’s the big deal to let our kids know what kinds of touches are SAFE and what are UNSAFE, and such things should never be kept secret?
- We always feel we should not rob our child’s innocence and purity as they are too small to know so much.
- They won’t understand anything or this topic will be too scary for them and we do not discuss about their private body parts early enough.
- Parents think, their child has a good family and friend circle, very good neighbors with good social status, playmates, classmates, siblings, cousins, uncles, coaches, teachers, babysitters. But these wrongdoers look just like us! Like you and me! And that is the scariest part.
It’s about child safety. It’s a part of education that every child deserve. It is to empower them and boost their self-esteem, so that they can identify the dangerous situations and disclose the abuser quickly.
Ultimately, if parents break the silence, a child will be able to talk to his/her parents about anything, especially about their bodies in a respectful way, for which they may feel shameful, blameworthy or guilty.
- Sexual abuse is a risk for every child. If you think only girls are sexually assaulted. No!You are wrong!!
- Researchers say that, 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys are exploited, assaulted at very young age and 75% out of them don’t tell.
- Children who are sexually abused 20% are abused before the age of 8.
- 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser, someone they know, and often trust.
- It can take the form of sexual abuse, harassment, rape or sexual exploitation in prostitution or pornography.
- It can happen in homes, institutions, schools, within communities, neighborhood or anywhere else.
- Increasingly, the internet and mobile phones also put children at risk of sexual violence.
- Young children who are targeted due to their innocence and ignorance about this topic.
How can educated parents like us don’t do anything about our child’s body safety?
Make your kids ready to tackle with the worst situation, The only way to teach them to protect themselves is to educate and empower them.
Small changes can add up to huge results. your child should not deal with shame, unhappiness, loss of belief in helping themselves, demoralization, depression, confusion, fear, stigma, psychological distress, lack of trust at any point of time.
Before your child break the silence, you need to break the silence! It’s never to early or too late. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Talk to your children. It Doesn’t have to be scary conversation.
So, how do we discuss about such uncomfortable subject with our tiny innocent kids?
Remember following points when you talk to your child about Body safety
1. Start Early and just keep using them as part of your vocabulary – during bath time, diaper changes etc. Keep it very casual. Always let them know about ‘SAFE’ and ‘UNSAFE’ TOUCH. Never use terms like – GOOD/BAD TOUCH (BAD word may confuse your child, if he/she is guilty in doing something, ethically). You can introduce such terminologies to kids through Body Safety books too.
2. Talk about body parts early, don’t teach them wrong names for body parts but use age appropriate names. So that,they can explain any scenario clearly.
3. Teach them about private body parts which are covered under swim suit. These body parts are absolutely private and no one can touch them except their parents while cleaning them. Only doctors can check them in presence of mom or dad.
4. No one should ask your kids to touch their private body parts. (This part we generally forget to inform our kids).
5. No one should take pictures of their private body parts or show them pictures of private parts.
6. Tell your kids that keeping BODY SECRET is not ok! Let your children know that they should always tell you if someone makes them keep a BODY SECRET! There is a difference between surprises and secrets! Even if the perpetrator tries to bribe a child or threatens a child, ask your child to inform you. Tell them, You are always there to help your children.
7. Teach your child how to get out of uncomfortable and scary situations. Yes, children can yell, kick, allowed to make a scene and run away and tell any trusted person around them (mom/dad/grandparents or any other trusted teacher or closed one)about the same.
Sexual violence against children is a gross violation of children’s rights.
Revisit the body safety talks with your child more often. Children learn through repetitive talk.
Educate and Empower your child now!
Please share this article with those you love and care. Spread the message of body safety!
Technical References : https://www.unicef.org, http://www.safersociety.org