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Keeping Children Safe

  1. The typical advice “Don’t Talk to Strangers” doesn’t apply in this case. Most child abusers are known to their victims.
  2. Teach your children basic sexual education. Teach them that no one should touch the “private” parts of their body (This can be described as ‘The bits covered by a swim suit’ if your child is very young).
  3. Teach your children that sexual advances from adults are wrong and against the law. Give them the confidence to assert themselves against any adult who attempts to abuse them.
  4. Teach your children that their bodies are their own. That it is OK to say they do not want a hug or that certain kinds of contact make them uncomfortable.
  5. Do not instruct children to give relatives hugs and kisses. Let them express affection on their own terms.
  6. Develop strong communication skills with your children. Encourage them to ask questions and talk about their experiences. Explain the importance of reporting abuse to you or another trusted adult.
  7. Make an effort to know children’s friends and their families.
  8. Instruct your child to never get into a car with anyone without your permission.
  9. It is important to remember that physical force is often not necessary to engage a child in sexual activity. Children are trusting and dependent and will often do what is asked of them to gain approval and love.

Discuss with your child the meaning of the words ‘force’ and ‘trick’ and the difference between ‘good secrets’ and ‘bad secrets’. This will help them to identify manipulation and blackmail