Talking to Your Kids About Sexual Assault and predator
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to talk to our children about sexual predators in the language they can understand! Don't avoid the topic, even if it's uncomfortable. Talking about child sexual abuse helps keep children safe. Talk about saying no, physical warning signs, inappropriate touch, and safe or unsafe secrets and places.
Start TalkingIf you’re not sure what to say or when to talk with your child about personal safety, try using the following tips and conversation starters. If your child isn’t receptive right away, that’s okay. Try again another time. The most important aspect of these talks is to create an open line of communication.
Bath TimeWhen bathing your young child, you can teach them the correct names for all body parts, so if they are harmed, they can accurately describe what happened. Also, research indicates that well-informed children are less likely to be targeted by offenders.
Teach Children the names of their body parts.When children have the words to describe their body parts, they may find it easier to ask questions and express concerns about those body parts.
Some parts of the body are private.Let children know that other people shouldn’t touch their private body parts.
It's OK to Say "No"It’s important to let children know they are allowed to say “no” to touches that make them uncomfortable.
No one should take photos of your private body parts.It’s not okay for someone to show you their private body parts or ask to see yours, in person or online. No one should take photos of your private body parts or show you photos of other people’s private parts.
Talk about secrets.Perpetrators will often use secret-keeping to manipulate children. Let children know they can always talk to you, especially if they’ve been told to keep a secret. If they see someone touching another child, they shouldn’t keep this secret, either.
Encourage children to speak up.When someone knows that their voice will be heard and taken seriously, it gives them the courage to speak up when something isn’t right. You can start having these conversations with your children as soon as they begin using words to talk about feelings or emotions. Don’t worry if you haven't started conversations around these topics with your child—it is never too late.
Having regular talks about personal safety is important for raising a confident, resourceful child who can make safe choices.