Talk to your child
- Be calm and do not try to scare your child; Use a neutral tone that empowers. Make sure your child knows that your will always be there for them and that they can tell you anything.
- Teach your child that parts of their body are private and that no one should see or touch them there.
- Use anatomically correct (penis, vagina, etc.) names for body parts to normalize talk in your home about private parts. Do not give pet or nick names to body parts.
- Watch for changes in your child’s behavior. Ask simple, open-ended questions such as “Has anyone ever made you feel scared or uncomfortable? Has anyone ever asked you to keep a secret?”
- Help them identify safe people in their life they can talk to if anyone ever makes them feel uncomfortable.
Know the policies and practices where your child spends time
- Minimize opportunity by eliminating or reducing one-on-one situations between a child and adult.
- Ensure that the organization does background checks on staff and volunteers
- Confirm that policies are in place to ban adults from being alone with your child and away from others
- Require all staff to be trained annually on child safety and mandated reporting.
Child Abuse is a complex problem and these are only a few tips on how to prevent abuse, for more in-depth information and discussion, take the Darkness to Light-Stewards of Children training and check out the links below: