As parents, we do a lot to keep our kids safe, from cutting grapes in quarters to to requiring bike helmets. But there are other dangers out there than choking and head injuries: one in three girls and one in seven boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
This statistic is one that keeps me up at night. Thankfully, there’s a lot we can do to make sure our kids, and our communities, are safe.
April is Child Abuse Prevention month, and the following infographic created by Feather Berkower and Parenting Safe Children shows you how to keep your children safe from sexual abuse. It debunks common myths, offers useful body-safety rules, and gives you specific questions for screening caregivers. Check it out—and then share it with your friends, family, and colleagues.
A few years ago, I attended a workshop led by Feather, a social worker and speaker with over twenty-five years’ experience raising awareness about sexual abuse and offering tools that keep kids safe, who’s also the author of a book, Off Limits: A Parents’ Guide to Keeping Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse.
In our house, we use Feather’s body safety rules daily, from discussing playing with clothes on to emphasizing that it’s always okay to say no to unwanted touches of any kind, even if it’s a kiss from a great-aunt who might be a little offended. Having these conversations in our homes, neighborhoods, and schools helps to create the kind of environment where kids and communities have the tools to fight off predators.
One of Feather’s most important points, though, is about listening to kids. If a child express discomfort or dislike, don’t dismiss it – take a few moments to ask why, to listen, to try to find out what’s underneath that discomfort. It’s a good parenting tip that helps build trust and communication, and also creates space to uncover and prevent sexual abuse.
And for the month of April 2013, Parenting Safe Children has generously offered friends of Babble Cares a 25% discount on Off Limits: A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse!
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