Preventing Sexual Abuse by a Family Member

It is important to take out the time to learn how you can prevent sexual abuse by a family member from happening in the first place. A few questions to keep in mind that we can help you answer are below:

  • How do I keep my kids safe at home?
  • How do I ensure my child is safe in other people’s homes?
  • How do I ensure children are safe in their homes?

Start by having conversations with your children at home. While these conversations are important to have, it is just as important to have discussions that encourage and teach safety. Survivors of sexual abuse by a family member have had their boundaries crossed. Many survivors were told to keep secrets, or were blamed and shamed for speaking up about abuse.

Below are a few ways to ensure safety is taught in the comfort of home:

  • Start having conversations on sexual development and healthy behaviors. Have positive, age-appropriate conversations about sexual development. Learning and teaching about sexual development can include conversations with children on the differences between healthy and unhealthy touch.
  • Create a safe environment that facilitates communication, trust, and openness. Having open communication with children will create a space where children can ask questions or find help if they have had their boundaries crossed by a family member.
  • Create a safe home and safe environment. Establish a trusting relationship with your child so they will feel safe talking to you about anything. Do all you can to increase your child’s self-esteem while teaching children that their bodies are theirs and they have a right to say “no” to unwanted touch.

If you or a loved one ever requires support in matters concerning sexual violence or abuse, please, contact us at the National Sexual Assault Hotline by calling 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chatting at hotline.rainn.org where you can receive 24/7 support.

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Every 68 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted.

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