Sexual abuse is a sensitive topic for all parents. The fear, pain, and trauma kids may experience at a young age are alarming to consider. You might not even want to talk about it; but it’s better to be cautious than afraid, especially when your daughter has one out of four chances and your son has one in six chances of being sexually assaulted before the age of 18.
These startling statistics are too high for you not to consider. The crime rate in your neighborhood affects how safe your kids will be. Ask yourself, “How many criminals and registered sex offenders are there in my area,” and talk to the local police on the preventive measures on sexual abuse.
For your kids to learn about these things, you need to educate them. Take this opportunity to speak to your kids honestly, openly, and in a mentally appropriate way about the dangers of the world outside. Here are some pointers:
Tell Them to Speak Up
Speaking up about sexual offenders and abuse is always the right thing to do. Tell your young ones that they don’t have anything to feel bad about if they’re in an uncomfortable situation and don’t have to worry about hurting an adult’s feelings.
Start Talking to Them as Young as Two Years Old
This seems too early, but kids under 12 are most at risk at four years old. Although they can’t speak well, kids at this age are busy figuring out the world. They will grasp things comprehensively at this age, as they remember a lot more than adults normally realize. For example, tell them where their private parts are and that normally nobody should see and touch them.
Educate Them about Their Private Parts
Educate them about the actual names of their private parts and not their “cute” names. This makes sure you understand what’s happening. In one case, a child victim told her parent her stomach was hurting. When the parent took her daughter to the hospital, he was informed that her daughter’s vagina showed signs of rape. The daughter didn’t know what to call the private part so she said it was her stomach.
You may recoil at the prospect of talking about sexual abuse with your kids. You don’t want them to be fearful of the world, but making them confident in their own bodies and in the support of their parents can avoid these kinds of abusive scenarios. Train your kids to be unafraid, to speak up, and to protect themselves from alleged sexual predators.