As an adult, talking to kids about child sexual abuse can be a pretty scary thought.
In today’s world, media is everywhere – on our TVs, on our phones, and on the radio on the way to school – and as cases are discussed in the news, it creates a perfect opportunity to talk to kids about child sexual abuse.
Currently, the brave survivors of Larry Nassar have inspired us, standing up with loud voices and their stories of abuse and recovery. It’s important to realize that although these survivors are gymnasts, child sexual abuse is not just a “gymnastics problem.” Child sexual abuse can happen in any youth sports or youth serving organization.
So how do you start the conversation? Using the events in the news can make it easier.
The below checklist is a great way to get the conversation started:
✔ “Sometimes touch might just feel uncomfortable, even if you like the person. Whenever it’s uncomfortable, you can say no.”
✔ “No one should ever touch you where a bathing suit covers.” This is a good visual, especially for young children.
✔ Tell them their mouth is also a private part.
✔ “It’s not okay for someone to ask you to touch their private parts with any part of your body.”
✔ “Your whole body is private whenever you want it to be. You get to decide who touches you.”
✔ “Has anyone ever told you that something like that (survivor stories) has happened to them?”
Watch this two minute video for more tips on talking with children:
It’s never too early to talk to your children about our bodies, sex, and boundaries. Remember to keep it an open dialogue and hear your child’s concerns and questions.
Most importantly, make sure children understand that no matter what has happened, they can share with you without fear of being blamed.
For more tips on how to talk to kids about sexual abuse, take our 30-minute ‘Talking to Kids About Safety from Sexual Abuse’ training.
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