3 Myths About Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

3 Myths About Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

By Ginger Kadlec — get free updates of new posts here.

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Talking with children about preventing sexual abuse may seem like an impossible task… or at least one that many parents aren’t quite sure how to tackle.

Assumptions are made as to why parents can’t, or even shouldn’t, talk with their children about sexual abuse.

Let’s take a look at 3 of those myths about child sexual abuse prevention… and the realities that debunk them.

Myth #1: My child is too young to talk about “sex”!

Fact: Here’s some awesome news… to begin talking about sexual abuse prevention you don’t even have to mention the word (or concepts of) “sex”! Framing conversations in terms of keeping your child’s body parts safe and private makes it super easy to start these conversations and lay a solid safety foundation for your child. Instead of talking about scary things like sexual predators, pedophiles or molesters, simply talk with your child about:

  1. Which body parts are private and just for him.
  2. The proper names of body parts… all of ’em: “penis”, “scrotum”, “breasts”, “anus”, “vagina” and “vulva”. (If you’re uncomfortable saying these words, practice them aloud by yourself. They aren’t bad words! They are proper body part names and important for your child to know in the event he ever is faced with abuse and needs to tell someone about it.)
  3. Say “NO!” if someone tries to touch one of those private body parts.
  4. Come tell you or another trusted adult if someone ever tries to touch a private body part, shows your child one of their private body parts or makes your child feel uncomfortable or “icky” in any way.

As an added bonus, these small conversations can start EARLY (as soon as your child is verbal) and should happen OFTEN, capitalizing on everyday moments like bath time or getting dressed in the morning.

Myth #2: As long as I protect my child from strangers, she’ll be safe.

Fact: An overwhelming majority, 90%, of sexually abused children know, love or trust the people molesting them. All tolled, nearly 1/3 of all children who are sexually abused are victimized by a member of their family (parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, etc.)… that number jumps up to 50% for children under the age of six (6). Nearly 60% of all other children are abused by someone the family trusts… be it a family friend, colleague, coach, minister, babysitter, neighbor… it could be anyone. While “stranger danger” does exist, it’s the danger lurking right in front of us we need to fear most and of which we need to be most vigilant to protect our children.

Myth #3: My child would tell me if he was being sexually abused.

Fact: Even parents who have an incredibly close bond with their children may NOT know their kids are victims of abuse. The sad fact is, 73% of children who are victims of abuse don’t disclose for at least one (1) year. Another 45% don’t tell anyone about the abuse for five (5) years… still others NEVER tell. There are 10 primary reasons children don’t disclose abuse… all of which are understandable. It’s up to parents, teachers, schools and other caring adults in our children’s lives to make sure we help give them the tools necessary to keep them safe from sexual predators.

So, how do I start these safety conversations with my child?

This is too important a topic to trust to an occasional safety talk at school or a one-and-done conversation over dinner. In fact, not preparing your child to take care of him- or herself in the event s/he is ever approached by a sexual predator is, in my humble opinion, simply negligent.

But, it’s often tough to know what to do… “How do I have these safety conversations with my child?” I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be pretty simple and straight-forward.

To help parents with this, I am developing a FREE sexual abuse prevention training video series that walks parents through the ins-and-outs of child sexual abuse prevention education. This training will offer several tips and talking points to use for children of various ages, including:

  • The basic 5-steps of Sound Bite Parenting and talking with kids about keeping their bodies safe
  • Talking points for kids of all ages:
    • “Small Child = Small Sound Bites”
    • “Elementary to ‘Tween'”
    • “Adapt 4 Adolescence”

If you want a heads-up when this series is launched, just click on the button below and I’ll add you to my list!

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Click Here for FREE Sexual Abuse Prevention Training for Parents

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<p style=”text-align: center;”><strong><a style=”color: #ffffff; text-decoration: none; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; padding: 10px; display: inline-block; max-width: 300px; border-radius: 5px; text-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.247059) 0px -1px 1px; box-shadow: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.498039) 0px 4px 3px inset, rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.498039) 0px 4px 3px; background: #0a4fff;” href=”https://gingerkadlec.leadpages.net/leadbox/14206e173f72a2%3A13804337eb46dc/5686536431468544/” target=”_blank”>Click Here for FREE Sexual Abuse Prevention Training for Parents</a></strong></p>

 

In the meantime, I invite you to check out these other BeAKidsHero™ articles about educating children to prevent sexual abuse — I hope you find them helpful! Here’s to keeping all kids safe!

Chance-and-GK-2013-04-261About Ginger:

Working to improve the world one child at a time, Ginger has made it her life mission to raise awareness of the world-wide epidemic of child abuse. An impassioned child advocate, trainer, speaker and child forensic interviewer, Ginger regularly blogs about child protection issues and has released a report for parents and other caring adults, “10 Scary Apps.” Ginger can be contacted via her website “Ginger Kadlec: BeAKidsHero™” at BeAKidsHero.com or find her on Facebook at facebook.com/gingergkadlec.

You can also connect with Ginger via other social media at:

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