The heart-wrenching reality of child sexual abuse growing in today’s society is known to everyone. With television shows like SatyamevJayatethrowing light on social evil epidemics, our nerves have evoked.
Child abuse cases have reached to people’s sight attached with a discomforting truth that sex offenders mostly turn out to be a friend or a family member. Parents are so busy in their careers that it becomes majorly difficult to give enough time to children but now that we are aware of this problem, we need to take steps to protect our children from getting abused. Here are 6 ways to protect your children from those undignified societal predators.
With effective communication, you can bridge the gap between you and your child. The child needs to feel that the environment around them is friendly to openly interact with you. It is then only when the child will be able to tell you about their day-to-day activities. You need to build a comfort zone for your child so that the kid can come up to you and share any unacceptable behavior by others. It is your utmost responsibility to take action and encourage your child to have a conversation with you regularly.
A child needs to be equipped with the knowledge of his genitals. It might be uncomfortable to discuss such topics but it is necessary and important. Children need to know the proper names of their genitals. Do not complicate and do away with this topic by discussing those body parts with code words. Equipping the child with this knowledge will help him foster the correct language for understanding their bodies and to communicate about any unreasonable behavior. Explain that some parts of their bodies should not be touched by other people except when they need help in the bathroom, or while getting dressed or while visiting a doctor.
The touch differentiation
There are two kinds of touch- a good touch and a bad touch. Make them understand about the differentiation between the two and tell them that nobody is entitled to touch their private body parts. Specially mentions that bad touches can be made by their friends or relatives as well. Therefore, if they find anything unpleasant they must report to you.
You must know your child’s friends and their parents. Check their reliability and only then allow your child to spend time at their house. Child abusers are mostly among friends, family and known persons. Allowing your child to stay at someone’s place till the time you do not have complete trust will make your child prone to the evil. It is heavily important to identify whom you trust.
The uncovering secrets
Sex abusers have a tendency to trick the children by punching statements like this on them- ‘This is our little secret. Don’t tell this to your mom or dad about this as she will get mad at you’’. Statements like these bind your child with no choices. You must remind your child that no adult should ever ask your kids to keep secrets.
The warning signs
Behavioral changes in your child are the warning signs that something wrong is happening with them. If he or she disapproves the idea of going to certain places, then they have potential threat of sexual abuse. Also, notice changes in their sleeping patterns, eating habits, moods and any sort of strange behavior.
If you have found out that your child is facing sexual abuse then you need to take strict actions against it. Staying quiet just because the predator is a family member and your ties with them will get tangled is probably a lame and a pathetic reason you can give and compensate with your child’s exploitation. You need to understand that your child’s safety and security is of greater concern than being in terms with such friends and relatives. So, contact the police department to investigate the alleged abuse and take proper actions. This will prevent and protect your child from any sort of abuse in the future.
Ashwathi is an enthusiastic traveller and dancer with a passion for movies and music. Hailing from an Army background, she considers herself fortunate enough to have experienced the diverse cultures that India boasts of. She is a graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications and has worked in print, radio and television.