How to Protect your Child from Sexual Abuse

Empowering Your Child: Strategies to Protect Your Child from Sexual Abuse
Building trust through open conversations: A parent and child discuss important matters in a comforting home setting.

How to protect your child from sexual abuse

Child sexual abuse is a widespread and serious problem. Although no child is immune, kids that are most at risk for sexual abuse may have development challenges, a disrupted home life, mental health issues, low self-esteem, and confidence, or any other reason that makes it difficult for them to raise their voice for themselves.

To protect your child from sexual abuse, it is extremely important to keep the emphasis on adult responsibility, while teaching your kids skills to help them protect themselves. Consider following the below-mentioned tips that could help your kid be less vulnerable to sexual abuse:

Be available and involved

Set time aside from your busy schedule to spend with your child. Let your kids know that they can reach you out anytime with any of their issues and that they will not get in trouble no matter what they say. Help your kid develop self-confidence and teach them how to self-advocate. Make them speak up for themselves. Being actively available and involved in a child’s life can turn the warning signs of sexual abuse more obvious and help them feel safe and comfortable for approaching you if something is not right. If you hear or see anything that can be a cause of concern then you can take up appropriate actions to protect your kid.

Teach them about their body parts and make them learn how to talk about them

In early childhood days, teach your kids the adequate name of their body parts, including private parts, so that your child knows it is okay to talk about it and reach you out whenever something is not appropriate. Let them know that their body is their own, and it certainly deserves respect and dignity. Most importantly, emphasize that no one has the right to make them feel uneasy or uncomfortable and touch their body parts if they do not want that to happen.

Comfort them to share things with you

Teach your kid early and often that there should not be any secrets between the children and their parents. Make time for them where they are provided with undivided attention. Make them comfortable to tell you if someone is talking to them or doing something that makes them feel bad or uncomfortable. If they do reach you out with concerns or questions, follow through on your word and make time to talk to them.

Create a comfortable environment to discuss such topics without hesitation

Build an environment at home in which topics related to safety, sexual abuse can be discussed without any hesitation. News channels and T.V. shows often cover incidents of sexual abuse or violence. Questions asking them what they would do in that situation or have you ever come across such a situation can pass a signal to them that these are significant issues that they can discuss with you. Participate in and monitor your kid’s daily activities whenever possible. Make efforts to get to know the people who are involved in your kid’s life. Do not allow them to go for sleepovers in homes you do not know well. Know who your kid is spending time with including adults and other children. Get to know from your child the kids they go to school with, the people they encounter daily, and the parents of their friends. Have an open conversation about all these people and ask them questions so that your child feels comfortable discussing anything with you. Choose housekeepers and caregivers carefully.

Also Read – Positive Parenting & 7 Habits that Lead to Extraordinary Outcomes

Be aware of the people’s intention

Be careful of adults who express extraordinary interest in your child’s life. Know who is offering them special toys or gifts and why. Be aware of who is taking them for special outings or evenings or if someone is making excuses to spend some time alone with your kid. Many perpetrators use threats or secret-keeping as a way of keeping the kid quiet about the abuse. Recall your child more often that they will not get into any trouble for talking to you about anything going on in their life. When they do approach you, follow through on this promise and avert from punishing them for speaking up.

Know the warning signs

Pay close attention to any changes with your child, no matter how insignificant it may seem to be. Become familiar with the early warning signs of sexual abuse, and notice even the minute changes with your child. Whether it is happening to your own kid or a kid you know, you comprise the potential to make a big difference in that child’s life by stepping in.

Also read – Cyberbullying: Navigating through the complex world from schools to social media

Final words

We hope the information and tips might turn enlightening and helpful for you. In closing, we want to emphasize that while any or all of these reasons may be true, none of them free you from the responsibility of doing everything you can to keep your child safe and help them deal with the harm they have already undergone. The best way is to communicate and build a healthy bonding with your child to help them share with you everything they feel.

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