Friday, November 12, 2010


How to Prevent Child Abuse
This is a time to recognize and raise awareness of child abuse. Sexual abuse, a form of child abuse, in children is at an alarming high rate. 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18, and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. Nearly 70% of sexual assaults are reported by children 17 years and younger. Children are at risk for sexual abuse even within their own home. The majority of victims are sexually abused by a family member. About the same amount of sexual abuse incidents are perpetrated by a family friend or someone outside of the family who the victim knows and trusts. Learn ways to prevent child sexual abuse by reading the tips and advice below.
1 . Learn the warning signs of child sexual abuse to stop it from happening!
To prevent child sexual abuse, learn the warning signs of sexual abuse. Children are often too embarrassed or ashamed to talk about the abuse, so it is important to know the tell-tale signs. Some of the warning signs of child sexual abuse are redness, rashes or swelling in the genital area, and urinary tract infections. Other physical signs are anxiety, complaints of frequent stomach aches or headaches. There are emotional or psychological signs as well, including withdrawal, depression, and unexplained anger. It is important to know that there are times when sexual abuse is present, but there are no warning signs at all. You can learn more about child sexual abuse by visiting the Resources section of this article.
2. Reduce situations where your child is alone with another adult.
To prevent child sexual abuse, minimize the opportunity. Eliminate or reduce the number of one-adult, one-child situations, even if the adult is someone whom you trust. Oftentimes people who sexually abuse children act and look like everyone else and go out of their way to appear trustworthy so they can have access to children.
3. Talk openly with your child.
To prevent child sexual abuse, talk openly with your child. Keep the lines of communication open so that your child is not afraid to confide in you if sexual abuse occurs.
4. Teach children about their bodies and inappropriate touching.
To prevent child sexual abuse, teach your children about their bodies. Teach them that is bad, or "against the rules" for adults to touch their bodies and act in sexual ways towards them. Explain to the child what parts of their body should never be touched unless the touching is by a doctor when Mom or Dad is with them.
5. If a child is uncomfortable around an adult, ask why.
To prevent child sexual abuse, be proactive. If a child appears uncomfortable or anxious around an adult, ask the child why. If a news story comes on the television about sexual abuse, rape, or any other sexual deviance, use that time to talk to your child (age appropriate of course).
6. Never doubt your child when they talk about sexual abuse. Trust your instincts.
If a child tells you that he/she has experienced sexual abuse, believe them. Never doubt the child. Trust your instincts. Thank the child for confiding in you and convince the child that it is not their fault and that the child did nothing wrong. Explain to the child that you must report what happened and assure them that everything will be alright. By acting on suspicions of child abuse, you are not only helping this child, but possibly many other children.
7. Report the suspected sexual abuse to Law Enforcement. Get immediate help for the child, including a physical exam and counseling if the child is old enough to discuss the abuse. You can call 108 helpline. They have professionals on staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help. Your call is always anonymous.
Teach your children the difference between acceptable and unacceptable touching, and to trust their instincts about people. Educate yourself about the signs of abuse so you'll be able to detect it.
1. Understand that "child abuse" means any kind of harm done to a child and does not just mean sexual abuse.
2. Teach your children that there is a difference between "good" and "bad" touches. Explain what these are.
3. Explain that no one has the right to hurt your child or touch him or her in private areas or touch in anyway that makes him or her feel uncomfortable.
4. Tell your children that the words they need to remember are No, Go, Yell, Tell. If anyone touches them in a way they don't like or tries to get them to go with a stranger or person they don't feel comfortable with they should always say "No!" and ...
5. Go away from the person or situation as quickly as possible.
6. Use their danger voice to yell. A danger voice is a very loud, low-pitched yell, that gets attention immediately. It is not a high-pitched screech. It should never be used in any other situation.
7. Tell a parent, teacher or caregiver immediately about what happened.
8. Help your children understand that they need to be wary not just of the traditional idea of "strangers" but of anyone who makes them feel uncomfortable, even if it is someone they know - like the next-door neighbor.
9. Talk to your children about situations they must avoid, like taking any food or medicine from a person who is not a parent, teacher, caregiver or close friend. Help them understand how to identify a police officer. Take them to the local police station and let them see what a uniform looks like and what a badge looks like.
10. Show your children how to make a collect call to home and how to call 108
11. Learn what the signs of abuse are so that you will notice if something is going on with your child. Look for bruises, burns, bloody or missing underwear, difficulty with bowel movements or urination, problems with walking or sitting, behavior problems, inappropriate sexual behavior, sore genitals or anything that just makes you feel there is something amiss.
12. Get help from the police, social services department or through a child abuse hotline if you suspect there is a problem.