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Tips for Parents

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Listen and talk with your child. Communication with your children is the best defense against child sexual abuse. This is a challenge for every parent, especially for parents of adolescents or paents who work. Below are some tips to help enhance communication between you and your child.

Talk to your child every day and take time to really listen and observe. Learn as many details as you can about your child's activities and feelings. Encourage him or her to share concerns and problems with you.

Explain to your child that his or body belongs only to them. Let your child know that he or she has the right to say "no" if someone tries to touch them.

Discuss with your child that some adults may try to hurt children and make them do things they don't feel comfortable doing. Often, these adults will say that what they are doing is a "secret" and that the child should not tell anyone about their "secret".

Explain that these adults may threaten children by saying that the child's parent may be hurt or killed if the child ever tells the parent or anyone else about their "secret". Emphasize that an adult who does something like this is doing something wrong.

Make sure your child knows that if someone makes them uncomfortable, you will not blame them. Let them know that it is your responsibility to protect them and by them telling you GOOD and BAD things you can protect them.

Tell your child that adults whom they know, trust and love might try to make them do things they don't feel comfortable doing. Mention to your child that sometimes adults in a position of authority (like a baby-sitter, an uncle, a teacher or even a policeman) might also try to hurt them. Give your child information aboiut privacy rules and what kind ot touching is okay and not okay. Make sure everybody follows the rules.child1

Monitor your child’s internet usage. Predators seek out children online and often portray themselves as children on the internet to lure children out to abuse them. There are parental blocks to use as options to block children from accessing certain websites with inappropriate content.

Make sure that your child has another trusted adult to talk to, if they don’t feel comfortable talking to you at least there is another adult that they can tell. Let your child know that there are other adults within the community that they can talk to about any situation that makes them uncomfortable or uneasy such as teachers, guidance counselors, principals, police officers and any other figures that you feel are appropriate.

Make sure you know your child’s friends and THEIR friends' parents.