29 May Seven tips to prevent sexual abuse in children
From the time your children are young, you begin to teach them that they must beware of dangers. Such as fire, sharp objects, cars on the street, and much more. But, have you ever given yourself the task of providing them with tools to prevent a situation of sexual abuse?
In case the answer is no, you should know that the time to do it is today. Well, even if you think they are still young to understand certain issues, they are not. Likewise, it is important to know that international statistics indicate that 1 in 5 children suffers from sexual abuse in childhood and that in 90% of cases, the abusers are people known by the child and his or her environment.
And what is even more shocking, in 1 out of 3 cases the abuse is committed by a relative of the minor. So, what are you waiting for to take action on the matter? And teach your children to protect themselves from this enormous danger that lies in wait for them? Next, we tell you how to do it. Don’t stop reading!
Identify sexual abuse in children
Another important topic before talking about preventing sexual abuse in children is its proper identification. Unfortunately, younger children are not aware of when they are being sexually abused. So it is a difficult situation to identify. The abuser takes advantage of the innocence of the child and makes him believe that it is a simple game or that nothing is wrong.
However, sexual abuse is still a traumatic event for your child. This is why it can manifest itself through some very subtle signs. In this sense, it is necessary to timely identify these signals and act accordingly as soon as possible. Signs of child sexual abuse include the following:
- Nightmares and sleep disorders.
- Generalized and irrational fear in the presence of certain people.
- Trouble eating.
- Depressive disorders and suicidal ideas.
- Changes in school performance.
- Isolation and aggressiveness.
- Age-inappropriate sexual knowledge and terms.
- Difficulty expressing your feelings.
How to prevent sexual abuse in children
From the moment our children are born, they are exposed to this and other types of dangers. However, alarming us too much and overprotecting them can also be harmful to them. We must be aware that we are not going to be able to supervise them all the time and that we have to learn to delegate care to other people.
Therefore, it is important to talk to them about this problem, in a way that they can understand it without being scared. It is not a matter of being afraid of everyone around them. But that they learn to detect those “rare” situations and can assert their will when someone tries to violate their rights.
Start Talking To Them Early About Their Body Parts
Use the proper names of the parts of the body (without nicknames) and teach them how they are constituted. When a child feels confident to name her body parts, he or will also have the confidence to tell you if something inappropriate has happened to him. Remember that this can be considered a threat to him.
Let Them Understand That Some Parts Of Their Body Are Private
Tell them that there are parts of the body that should not be seen by everyone. Explain to them that sometimes it will be necessary for the parents and the doctor to check them, but always within the healthy and permitted limits.
It is worth reminding them daily that their body is theirs since a single intervention is insufficient to instill this learning in them. Look for everyday moments or circumstances (such as bath time or a diaper change) and approach the topic casually and with appropriate language.
Help Them Set Limits
From a young age, children should know that no one should touch their private parts or ask them to touch someone else’s. Parents often forget the second part of this premise. And that is precisely how many cases of abuse begin: the perpetrator asks the child to have contact with her body.
Another not minor issue is teaching them to say no. Although it may seem minor, it is important to respect their will when they do not want to kiss a family member when arriving somewhere or receive a hug from someone they love. We must assert their will and be consistent with our messages at all times.
Tell Them Body Secrets Aren’t Allowed
In most cases of sexual abuse against children and adolescents. The abuser asks or forces the victim to keep the situation secret. Although the threats exist, in general, the offender takes advantage of the trust that the minor has given him and manipulates him.
The best thing to do to avoid this and prevent sexual abuse in children is to tell them that absolutely no one should make them keep secrets about their bodies.
Likewise, it is important to point out that sincere signs of affection are not hidden, because they have nothing bad to hide. Whoever asks you to keep in touch secretly does not want to give you true affection.
Establish A Code With Your Children That They Can Use In An Awkward Situation
Use a keyword or phrase that gives you a red flag that your kids are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable with a person or place. And when they tell you, be consistent with the agreed agreement and remove them from that situation immediately.
Take The Time To Get To Know The People Around Your Children
You want to know who their friends are, their teachers. The parents of the kids they visit often, and anyone else they hang out with on a regular basis. In this way, you will have a clearer idea of the context in which your children live. And you will be able to delegate care to those people you trust.
Be Careful With The Media
Currently, it is quite common to see news and publications about child abuse. Children are not completely oblivious to them and in this situation. You must explain to them what it is. And how they should act if something similar were to happen to them.
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