As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your child is safe. Sexual abuse presents a significant danger to children of all ages. Children have temporary defenselessness and dependence on adults. Moreover, most children lack knowledge about the dangers of sexual abuse. They do not know how to protect themselves.
These factors increase the risk of sexual assault. Research has shown that around 80% of cases relating to sexual abuse involves sexual perpetrators. These perpetrators are familiar to the children. It can be parents or stepparents, siblings, caregivers, family friends or relatives.
In this guide, we show you some of the ways to protect kids from sexual abuse.
Teach You Child The Proper Meaning of Sexual Assault
Sometimes, kids’ assault occurs because of lack of knowledge on the part of the child. Thus, it is important to make sure that your child understands the meaning of sexual abuse.
Child sexual abuse occurs when a child or underage person is forced or enticed into sexual activities. It means that even if a child agrees or is aware of what is happening during the sexual activity. It still qualifies as sexual assault.
You should inform your child of all the behaviors relating to sexual assault such as when somebody touches their genitals and other private parts for sexual pleasure or when they are made to touch someone else’s genitals.
Other activities that can be characterized as sexual abuse is when someone plays sexual games with the child or when such a person puts an object in the mouth, anus or vagina of a child for sexual pleasure.
Parents should love kids in a way that enables them to differentiate that love from the deceptions of an offender who wants to harm them.
Encourage Your Child To Talk To You About Their Day
It is a bit difficult for children to express themselves. This presents a challenge in having safe kids because when there is a problem. Children are less likely to talk about it.
It is always advisable to encourage your child to speak to you about their day in school, church or any other place that they spend most of their time.
By doing so, your child will be able to build trust with you. As a parent, you must nurture an environment. In this environment where your kid will feel very free to talk to you. You can begin by talking to your child about their day on a regular basis.
In the beginning, it might be challenging for them to share but as time goes by. They will be comfortable raising any topic. It is at this point that your child will be able to report to you any encountered behavior that made them feel uncomfortable.
Use Proper Names for Genitals and Other body parts
Most parents tend to shy away from having conversations relating to sex education with their children. This usually happens. Because of an underlying shame that makes it even harder. So for parents to use the correct term for genitals and other private body parts.
For your child to know their bodies well. Use the right words when educating them about sexual assault. Your child should understand that there is no shame in calling their genitals with the proper names.
Such knowledge will ensure that the child can have a correct language for understanding his or her body and in the event of unacceptable behavior. It will be easier for them to tell what happened with their body.
Monitor Your Children’s Use Of Technology
In the modern-day world where things such as the Internet, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, and smartphone. These are synonymous with the younger generation.
It becomes vital to observe your child’s use of technology. Nowadays, sexual offenders are exploiting technology to lure and entice innocent kids into sexual activities.
You should model safe choices and behaviors in your child. The anonymity that comes with electronic media makes it easier for sexual offenders to break social rules.
You should encourage your child to keep his or her interactions on these media in the open. Someone uses anonymity as a way of committing a sexual offense without being held accountable. It is inevitable for your child to come across inappropriate situations. This is when using social media and other electronic platforms.
As a parent, you should teach them on clear guidelines for dealing with inappropriate situations and encourage them to report them to you and the administration of the platforms.
Teach Your Child How to Say “No”
Your child should know that is not wrong to say “no” in situations that could harm them. Your child should know that his or her “no” must be respected in situations that provide a potential for sexual assault. Such as playing, tickling, hugging and kissing.
Teach your child that if you say “no” and the other person does not stop the behavior, they should call for help and report the person. Teach your child that is not a must to engage in any activity that makes them uncomfortable.
And it is not a must for them to be receptive when approached by others. For example, a relative opens their arms to receive a hug from your child. Tell your child that it is ok to extend a hand if they do not feel comfortable giving a hug.
All parents and guardians should empower their children through proper sex education. By teaching your child safety measures, you will be able to protect them from sexual assault and enable them to disclose abuses when they happen. Such actions are likely to keep sexual offenders at bay.
It is your responsibility as a parent or guardian to understand the sexual assault risks that your child faces.
What are some of the other strategies that you have used to protect your child from sexual assault? Have those strategies been useful? Kindly leave us a comment below.