5 Tips to Protect Your Child From Sexual Abuse
The following five safety tips from RAINN focus on practical things parents can do to protect children from sexual abuse.
Talk often with your child and set a tone of openness. Talking openly and directly will let your child know that it’s okay to talk to you when they have questions. If your child comes to you with concerns or questions, make time to listen and talk to them.
Teach your child key safety principles. For instance:
- Teach children the names of their body parts so that they have the language to ask questions and express concerns about those body parts.
- If your child is uncomfortable or if someone is touching them, s/he should
tell a trusted adult immediately.
- Let your children know that if someone is touching them or talking to
them in ways that make them uncomfortable that it shouldn’t stay a secret.
Your child should know that s/he has the right* *to* *speak up if they are uncomfortable, or if someone is touching them. It’s okay to say “no” even to adults they know and family members.
Implement Internet safety protocols, and parental controls through platforms such as the Google Family Safety Center. Work with older children to set guidelines for who they can talk to online, and what information can be shared. For instance, be cautious when leaving status or away messages online and when using the "check-in" feature on Facebook or Foursquare.
Educate yourself about the warning signs of childhood sexual abuse. Know what to look for, and the best way to respond.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse, it’s not your fault. You are not alone. Help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotlines (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org).