Teach children the correct names for all their different body parts, including their private body parts. Help young children remember by using a description such as “body parts covered by a swimsuit”.
Establish family safety rules about touching. Following that please add the following: “Also tell them that nobody should do anything to their privates or make them do something to someone else’s privates. You can explain that doctors or nurses sometimes have to check their privates. Parent’s may have to help young children with bathing or when going to the bathroom.
Tell children that NO ONE has the right to touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. Teach kids to:
- Say words that mean NO (“Leave me alone” / “Stop that” / “I don’t want to do that”)
- Get away.
- Tell a grown up.
“NO → GO → TELL”
- Safety steps help children know what to do.
Remember, it is NEVER a child’s fault if someone breaks the touching rules.
Children rarely lie about being abused. Believe the child who tells you he/she has been abused and seek professional help by reporting the abuse.
- Do not spank or punish if a child waits to tell you about abuse. Waiting to tell or delayed disclosure is very common. If you punish your child, they may not finish telling due to fear.
- Talk to your child about who they can tell. Discuss options such as yourself, teachers, counselors, police and a family friend. Any safe grown-up they know that they think will help them.
- If your child tells you about abuse, do not go into detailed questions with your child about it. Children may accidently take on your wording. Simply ask: “What happened?” and “Tell me more about it”. Then report what you know.
- Be careful not to discuss it where children may overhear. They may mistake your anger or tearfulness as you being upset with them or they may start to try to use words they do not understand such as “rape” or “molested”.
- Do not confront the suspect or have a family meeting with the child or suspect.
- Ask questions about events your child will be at and about who will be there. Be informed. Know who your children spend time with. FOLLOW YOUR GUT REACTIONS.