Ways To Talk To Your Kids About Sexual Abuse

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Toddler age girl getting spoken to by her mother. Great parenting concept image.

Sometimes, as a parent, to protect our children, we have to have difficult conversations.  April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and as difficult as it may be teaching our kids about sexual assault, and how to avoid it, is something we should do.  But how do you even start? 

Sexual violence is a very serious public health problem that affects millions of women and men. However, research done by the Crimes Against Children Research Center showed that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse. These children who are the victims of prolonged sexual abuse usually develop low self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness and an abnormal or distorted view of sex. The child may also become withdrawn and mistrustful of adults. In honor of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Krav Maga Worldwide, a leading self-defense organization is offering parents tips on what to teach their children if they are involved in an attack and also tips for preventing attacks.

  1. Begin talking to them as young as 2 years old. This may seem very early but children under 12 are most at risk at 4 years old. Even if they can’t speak well, children at this age are busy figuring out the world. And they certainly understand and remember a lot more than adults usually realize.
  2. Share the only instances when their private parts can be seen and touched. An age appropriate concept for a young child to understand is that nobody – including a parent or caregiver – should see or touch their private parts (what a swimming suit covers up) – unless they’re keeping them clean, safe, or healthy.
  3. Talk openly about sexuality and sexual abuse to teach your child that these topics do not need to be “secret.” Abusers will sometimes tell a child that the abuse should be kept a secret. Let your child know that if someone is touching him or her or talking to him or her in ways that make him or her uncomfortable or scared, that it should not stay a secret.
  4. Inform your child about the tricks used by sexual predators. Tricks such as continued accidental touching, or an emergency trick where the predator tricks the child into thinking there is an emergency and the child must go with the predator.
  5. Teach children that they must trust their inner voice. Especially That Yucky Feeling We all have that feeling inside that tells us what feels right and what feels wrong or uncomfortable. Many children who have been sexually abused describe a feeling of discomfort as having a “yucky” feeling inside. You must teach your child to trust or honor their inner voice or that “yucky” feeling.
  6. Teach your child that they have the right to say NO! As the majority of child abuse is based on coercion rather than force, teaching your child to say NO strongly and forcefully really can make a big difference in many situations.

About Krav Maga Worldwide

Founded in 1997 to promote Krav Maga throughout the United States and around the world, Krav Maga Worldwide trains and certifies instructors and licenses over 150 authorized Krav Maga Worldwide training centers in the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico, South America, and Europe, as well as over 800 law enforcement agencies and military units. Krav Maga offers the highest caliber of instruction to thousands of people, supporting the company’s core commitment to improving and saving lives. Krav Maga Worldwide continues to develop, promote and implement self-defense and fitness programs. For additional information, visit: www.kravmaga.com.

 

Comments

  1. says

    It’s really important to make sure that they know it as early as possible. Of course the language is different when they’re 2 years old but the idea of protecting themselves is there.

  2. says

    It is so sad and scary that we have to talk to our children about this, but in order to keep them safe, it is something we have to do. These are great tips to help parents talk to their children about this abuse.

  3. says

    This is so important and something that is so important to talk about but definitely not always an easy topic. I love your tips and they seem like easier ways to bring this up. Thanks for sharing.

  4. says

    This is such a tough subject to talk to your kids about, but it is imperative for their safety that we as parents have an open dialogue with our kids. As they get older it is a little easier to talk to your kids, but the conversation needs to start at a very early age.

  5. says

    This is such an important discussion to have with our children. I always began gently so as not to scare my children, but also to teach them to be aware that not everyone is kind and loving and has the best of intentions.

  6. says

    This article is a must read for every parent. I agree that children should be made aware of the dangers that may happen and educating them about it is important. Learning to say “no” is the first step to help them protect themselves from people who intend to do them harm.

  7. robin rue says

    I have my black belt in krav maga. I started taking it when a creep followed me into the woods one day……now I don’t have to worry about stuff like that.

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