Teaching children how to stay safe from sexual abuse
Sexual abuse against children can happen from a stranger, a babysitter and even family members. Parents who enforce rules may decrease the risks of abuse from happening.
Children who have received instruction about how to recognize abuse, how to stop abuse and how to react if they experience abuse, have a better chance of preventing ongoing mistreatment.
The value of parental instruction
Parents might feel uncomfortable discussing body safety or question if their children are too young to have such conversations. However, waiting too long could make children more vulnerable to sexual abuse. According to the Child Mind Institute, parents should recognize that anyone can perpetrate sexual abuse even their own family members. Some things parents should teach their children include the following:
- Keep their body parts private
- Never keep body secrets
- Understand body parts
- Set and respect boundaries
- Recognize dangerous situations
- Never exchange pictures of private parts
Parents who prioritize such teachings can give their children the tools they need to better defend themselves against sexual abuse.
The purpose of setting boundaries
Children will require the help of their parents to set boundaries that will protect them. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, parents should use caution when selecting caregivers for their children.
Parents should stay involved in their children’s lives and get to know the people their children spend time with. If children have access to the internet, parents should enforce rules for internet use and monitor their children’s involvement on social medial sites.
Sexual abuse can have lasting repercussions that rob a child of trust, stability and self-esteem. Parents can play a large role in protecting their children with early education.