TALK = PREVENTION
If you had to guess, how many times a day do you think you speak to family, friends, co-workers, strangers? And what do you talk about? Chances are it is casual conversations, jokes, plans for the day, gossip, and probably some meaningful important topics too. Now, if you had to guess, how many times in your lifetime do you think you’ve spoken to anyone about child sexual abuse? I would be willing to bet that number is very low or even zero for most of you. Why is that? The reasons probably vary: it’s an uncomfortable conversation, you may not feel you know enough about it, you don’t know how to begin the conversation, or you may think it’s never going to affect anyone that you know so you just avoid the conversation all together.
Unfortunately, if you think that it will never affect anyone that you know; chances are you’re probably already wrong. The truth is that 1:10 children will be victims of sexual abuse prior to their 18th birthday. In a classroom of average size that’s about 2 children per room. Predators of sex abuse do not discriminate; anyone’s child is at risk. Now, wouldn’t you rather be the one to speak to your child about sex abuse before something happens to them?
TALK = PREVENTION If we don’t talk about it, we don’t stand a chance at preventing it. If your child is armed with knowledge about what to do if someone tries to be inappropriate with them, and if they know what to do/who to speak to if something has already happened to them – they will be in a much better position than a child that does not have that information.
Children who have been abused often feel shame and are afraid to tell anyone. Children need to always feel reassured that anything that has happened to them is not their fault and that they won’t get in trouble. Perpetrators use threats as leverage. Let your children know in advance that you will always believe them and that you are on their side.
Perpetrators don’t look like the boogie man and statistically they are NOT strangers, they are someone that your child and quite possibly you too already know, love and have a trusting relationship with. Please visit our website www.saratogacff.org for more information on signs and symptoms of abuse and helpful information if you suspect that abuse has occurred. TALK = PREVENTION, it can be that simple.