Especially for parents
The statistics on child sexual abuse cannot leave us indifferent. As parents, we must take action in raising awareness, and give our children the knowledge and tools that will help us protect them from sexual abuse. We gathered essential tools and information on these issues, just for you.
12 Golden guidelines
My body is mine alone
Even when we play,
and someone says it's ok,
we never touch the private parts and we also don't show.
We simply say – NO!
If you're being hassled or bullied or filled with fear,
simply say -NO! make it loud and clear.
A good secret is yours to choose
whether to keep quite or spread the news.
my body has private parts
The bathroom is a private place
we enter one by one and give each other space.
Roar "NO" like a lion, run fast like a tiger
and always remember to tell
an adult that can help
If it's a bad secret that you have, here's what to do:
You must hurry-up and tell an adult who can help you.
my private parts are my own,
they are not to be touched or shown
Keeping healthy and clean is important to do
so parents and doctors are allowed to help you.
We never go anywhere, anyway,
unless our parents say it's OK.
If it's a stranger, or even someone we know
we always say NO!
It's always good to feel
loved, cared for, and heard for real.
Behavioral change – if the child is sad, suppressed, angry, has rage outbursts.
Introverted behavior, heightened childish behavior.
Complaints about pain or irritation in the genitalia area. Bruises or hemorrhage in genitalia.
Headaches or abdominal pain that don’t have a physical explanation.
Few or none friendships with other children.
Symptoms of depression, anxiety, eating disorders.
Trouble at school – disciplinary issues, hostility, violent behavior, lack of concentration.
Passive behavior, low self-esteem, exceptionally trying to please the environment.
Fear or revulsion from certain places or people.
Stained or ripped underwear. Blood stains in particular.
Inappropriate sexual behavior.
Children have a natural and healthy curiosity. It is important that we, as parents, don't avoid our children's questions, even if they make us uncomfortable. If the kids don't get answers for their questions' they will look for them elsewhere.
It is a delicate line between teaching our children and frightening them. It is important to speak with our children at eye-level, in their own day-to-day language. There is no need to have a formal discussion with our kids, we don't want to intimidate them. It is best to have an honest open talk during our daily routines.
Encourage open communication at home. Avoid any atmosphere of secrecy or hiding, that hides feelings and information. Parents cannot expect their children to tell them if something bad happens to them, if they don't share daily mundane things. Encourage you child to share and tell.
Give you children a sense of trust and attention. Children's biggest fear is that no one will believe them if they say something bad happened. Do not treat what they are saying as imaginary. This is the only way children will share with their parents.
Encourage your child to trust their feelings. Be attentive to their wills and respect them.
Teach your children that they don’t always have to do what adults tell them to. If an adult tells them to do things that harm their privacy (to touch or look at private parts of the body for example), they shouldn’t be afraid to say "NO!" and tell an adult that can help.
Our children are our mirror. Children learn, as infants, that only the parents are allowed to touch their private parts, and only if it has to do with cleaning or medical treatment. The child learns through the parents and the close environment about behavioral norms in which the private parts are not exposed. It is important that we, as parents, must insist on keeping our private parts private, thus the our children will learn to respect our privacy and other's as well.
7 recommendations on how to talk with your child:
Warning signs for possible abuse:
It is important to remember that our main goal is to understand if there is reasonable suspicion for abuse. Keep calm. The hysterical reaction might frighten the child, increase their sense of guilt, and make them withdraw.