We live in an era where child sexual abuse is on the increase and no matter how well you take precautions, some things are absolutely unpreventable. However, you have to do the best you can as a parent.
Parents should also note that both male and female children can be abused so desist from paying attention only to the female child and also take time out to discuss and listen to your male children.
Here are some tips to consider.
1. Encourage them to open up
Children cannot be expected to understand when it is okay to refuse or turn away from an adult. This would be too confusing for them and their mind might not be able to fathom it.
Instead, build trust by regularly talking to them about their daily activities. Make them feel comfortable raising and discussing any topic with you. Then, if your kids report any unacceptable behaviour by others to you, it is your responsibility to then take action.
2. Know your child’s movement at all times
It is important to know where your children are and who they are with at all times. Know your children’s friends and their parents. Make sure they are very reliable before you allow your child to spend time- no matter how small at their home.
3. Teach your children that the abuse can come from someone they trust
Always let your kids know, “Bad touch is bad touch and no one gets to do it to our bodies. If anyone does bad touch, you go to a grown-up (parents, teachers, or guardian) for help. When you are not sure about whether something a grown-up is doing is okay, ask another grown-up to help you.”
4. Pay attention to the signs
Abuse, most times is not usually as obvious as a bruised knee or swollen feet. Adults should pay more attention to the signs that show that children are in dire need of counselling. These signs might be significant changes in sleeping, eating, mood, or strange behaviour that is not going away quickly.