For me, one of my biggest fears is that one or both of my children will be sexually abused in some way or another. Too many children, and even people in my family and circle of friends have encountered this tragedy. It isn’t surprising when sexual abuse occurs in so many children. (see below)
As you can see from the image above, those numbers are alarming! What’s even scarier, is that only 90% of the abuse is actually reported! So the number of abuse may be higher!
Healthy body talk and education about this topic has been a part of my daughters life since she was born. Learning more about this with research verifies that I should have started the conversation before she was even born, though, by educating my family and friends about this topic.
No child should have to endure this scary reality and the best way to avoid them from becoming another statistic is to learn as much as possible and to teach others, as well. I highly recommend visiting the Mama Bear Effect website to increase your knowledge and then spreading this information with others. They also have really cool educational materials and bumper stickers to spread awareness.
Some of our biggest rules in our house are:
- We don’t keep secrets from mommy and daddy. If someone is telling you to keep something a secret you tell us right away.
- When ever we changed our daughters diaper we let her know what we were doing and we continue to explain when wiping her off after she goes to the bathroom
- We always use the correct names of private parts and voice that thos pares are only to be touched if someone is helping her wipe off or if its an emergency with a doctor
- We never force family hugs or kisses. We tell her it’s her body, so she has the right to choose who she wants to hug or kiss “My body, my choice”
- We tell her if anyone makes her feel scared, sad, or confused, to tell us right away.
- One that I learned, was to teach your child that instead of saying bad people hurt you, this may back fire since the majority of abusers are people these children trust and hence, don’t believe they’re bad people and that some of the abuse doesn’t hurt and it feels good when private parts are touched.
These are just some of the main things that we have started to talk with my little one. The website has so much more helpful information that I really hope you look into to help prevent more children being abused. Spread the word for the children!