“I keep wondering how to explain the experience of child sexual abuse from the inside. I am going to try to explain what my world was like when I was sexually abused. The thing you have to remember is that this was the thinking of a child” – Robin Quivers
A child is the purest form of love on this planet earth, a creature who doesn’t know anything about good or bad, black or white, caste, religion, or anything. They just know how to smile and cry.
Ages after age, their innocence is stolen when they face real-life situations, some positive and some horrifying. So, it is our moral duty to teach them about the right things and the wrong things.
The main topic we are going to discuss is: “Child Sexual Abuse”.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn ” – Benjamin Franklin
It can be very difficult to plan a simple talk about this topic with your kid. The good part is, you don’t have to. The conversation will automatically begin when you open up to your kids about the topic itself and start involving them during educating them. You just have to teach your kids, know them when to speak up, how to take care of your friends, and listen to your mind and inner senses. The key is to start the conversation when your kids are young and have these conversations often.
5 important steps on child sexual abuse Prevention
Teaching children about their body parts at a young age instead of calling their private parts funny nicknames, instead use the correct nomenclature. Give them enough information about the boundaries to help them decide what is Safe Touch/ Unsafe Touch and how to react when they feel unsafe. These lessons will help them to speak when something is not right. Following are some examples:
1. Teach about Private Parts/ Body Ownership: You must tell them about their private parts and their body ownership. Let them know that no one has the authority to touch them without their consent. And if someone has the child’s consent, no one should be authorized to touch their private parts. They should also know that doctors can examine the private parts but in the presence of someone from the safe circle.
2. Give time to your children: Whenever your child comes to you with something important to them, take time and listen to them without being distracted by something else. Let them know that you take them seriously, they are important to you. This will give them a kind of belief in you and they will start sharing things with you.
3. Talk About Secrets: In most cases, the abuser uses the secret-keeping technique to manipulate children. Make an environment for sharing secrets with your children. Let them know that you are their best buddy. If they see someone touching another child miss-appropriately or if someone is doing so with them, they should not keep this a secret.
4. Teach them about their Safe Circle: Every child needs to know whom to trust the most to keep them safe in every situation. The sincerest relation for kids is their parents.
5. It’s OK to Say “NO”: They must be taught that it is ok to say “No” on unsafe touch, (a touch that makes them feel uncomfortable). Support your child whenever they say NO. For example: If your child is saying NO to a hug, respect their decision instead of making them uncomfortable.
After knowing how to teach, you must know what to teach. So, let’s start with the topic:
What is the definition of Child Sexual Abuse?
Child sexual abuse is the involvement of a child in a sexual activity that they cannot understand, for which they are mentally unprepared and thus cannot give consent. Child sexual abuse does not need physical contact between a perpetrator and a child. It can be verbal and Visual also. It can be a single event or more often with one child. Most of the time it is done by someone known to the family. CSA is not only a frequent and difficult judicial problem but also a major public health challenge.
Recent meta-analyses found a worldwide prevalence of CSA of 7.4% in males and 19.2% in females. In Europe, this prevalence may be 4–8% in females and 2–4% in males. The age at which children are most at risk is 10 years. The aggressor is often known by the victim and, unfortunately, the low rate of reporting to authorities shows that all too often nothing is done.
Two Types of Child Sexual Abuse
There are two main types of child sexual abuse: touching and non-touching.
- Touching includes touching a child’s genitals, making a child touch someone else’s genitals, playing sexual games, and/or putting objects or body parts inside the vulva or vagina, in the mouth, or the anus of a child for sexual pleasure.
- Non-touching abuse includes showing pornography to a child, exposing a person’s genitals to a child, prostituting/trafficking a child, photographing a child in sexual poses, encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts either in person or on a video, and/or watching a child undress or use the bathroom.
Please refer to the below link for more information:
Why is it important to address CSA?
“Childhood should be carefree like playing in the sun, not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.“
Child sexual abuse occurs at an alarming rate around the world. In recent years, high-profile cases of child sexual abuse in faith-based and youth-serving organizations have shed light on the magnitude and secrecy surrounding the issue. Children who are sexually abused can suffer enormous physical, emotional, and psychological consequences, many of which persist across the life course.
Experiencing child sexual abuse can affect how a person thinks, acts, and feels over a lifetime. This can result in short- and long-term physical, mental, and behavioral health consequences. Example of physical health consequences includes Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
How to respond to child sexual abuse?
This is a critical part to handle someone’s abuse. If a child gathers its power to talk about sexual abuse, it’s important to:
- Listen to them carefully, especially without judging
- Let them know that they are not wrong
- Ask them if they want to report
- Don’t confront the alleged abuser
- Tell them that you trust them
- Tell them it’s not their fault
- Let them know that they have done the right thing by telling you
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