CREATE A CODE WORD

Pick a simple word or phrase that your child can use to communicate to you that they’re feeling uncomfortable or unsafe but can’t say it. This can be especially useful at a large family gathering, party, and sleepover in order to talk to you in front of others, or on a phone call and let […]

PEOPLE OF AUTHORITY

At some point, you will most likely feel comfortable leaving your child alone with older peers/adults that serve a role in your child’s life, whether it’s a rabbi, a tutor, a teacher, or a camp counselor. It’s not always so easy to get to know these people, and you may only see them for a […]

BEWARE OF BRIBES

While abusers may attempt to bribe young children with toys or candy, when it involves older children it can become more complex. Let your children know to be wary of anyone that offers them something for no reason (not a birthday/holiday). It could be a gift, money, a ride in a car, letting them play […]

WHO COULD YOU TELL?

Establish a Body Safety Circle!  While we may assume our children will come to us first if they need help, realistically, we need to accept that no matter how strong our bond, they may hesitate. Talk with your children and discuss a group of adults (say 3-5) that you both agree would be someone they […]

REDUCE SHAME OF GENITALIA BY REFERRING TO IT BY ITS PROPER NAME

If you’re teaching your baby the names of body parts, by all means start now to say the proper name for their genitalia. “Penis” is penis. For girls you may use “vulva” (which is the name for female external genitalia), “labia” (if you want to be specific about the folds of skin), or “vagina” which many use, but […]

UNDERSTANDING PRIVATE PARTS (18+MONTHS)

Children thrive on structure at a very early age. Just like scheduling naps, bedtime routines, timeouts, teaching manners etc. Children want to know what is expected from them and from others. Read the below information and make body safety and open communication about sexuality, respect, and responsibility part of your family’s core values. Starting before […]

SAFE AND UNSAFE TOUCH

Sometimes it is necessary for a person to touch or look your child’s private parts. When you’re changing a diaper, applying cream, washing at bath time, visiting a doctor (with a parent present & watching) it is called safe touches. Unsafe touches are when people try to touch/see or show their own privates – they might […]

HUGS, KISSES, AND BEING TOUCHED IS ALWAYS OPTIONAL

A child is sometimes forced to sit on the lap of an adult for that “memorable” photo of them screaming & squirming. It’s not funny, and more importantly – it’s sending a subliminal message with negative implications. Even if it’s a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or well meaning stranger – all children have the right to not engage […]

KIDS LOVE TO SAY NO, AND THAT’S A GOOD THING!

By example, teach your children that “no” will be respected if they do not want to be touched (ex. tickling, hugging, or kissing). If your child says no – stop. And tell them you stopped because they said no. Don’t make them hug, kiss, or engage with people if they are uncomfortable, and if they […]

SOMETIMES OUR MOUTH IS PRIVATE, TOO!

We brush our teeth and use floss, but sometimes a big person has to help. Sometimes they might have a hair or piece of food stuck in their mouth and want it out, but no one should be sticking toys or other things into their mouth (or eyes or ears – just to keep it general) […]

BOYS VS. GIRLS

Before you know it, your child will figure out that boys and girls are different in more ways than one. They may see you dressing/toileting, or watch a diaper change and notice that there is something different about their body and someone of the opposite sex. Don’t be embarrassed, don’t try to avoid the topic. […]

HOW DID THE BABY GET IN THE BELLY?

You may fear this question, but can you blame them for being curious? Young children 3-6 years will most likely be OK with simply being told that the baby starts out very small and grows in the belly. If they really want to know how the baby gets in there, there is nothing wrong with […]

TRICKS THAT ABUSERS USE

If someone threatens them, or does something that they feel is wrong or makes them uncomfortable, you want them to tell you. You will be proud of them for telling you. And more importantly, you want your children to feel comfortable to come to you when they have questions about their bodies, how various parts […]

NO GIFTS WITHOUT PERMISSION

Let your children know they are not allowed to accept gifts, money, or special favors without asking a parent first. It can be confusing for a child to be sexually abused, because the abuse can often “feel good” to their bodies. They don’t understand that it’s wrong. Abusers are often very good about not physically hurting […]

MIAMI: SCHECK HILLEL EMPLOYEE ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED CHILD PORN POSSESSION

NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) — Parents at a South Florida school are demanding answers days after an employee was arrested for allegedly possessing child pornography. Douglas Sands was taken into custody Thursday for possession of child pornography on his home computer. His arrest report reads, “[On the desktop] that was located in Sands’ bedroom … […]

NO SECRETS

Even convicted abusers have admitted being surprised by how easy it was to get a child to keep their abuse a secret. Secrecy is, obviously, essential for the abuser to victimize. Many abusers will groom children by testing them to keep small secrets (“don’t tell mom I gave you this”) and then take it further. By […]

TELL IF YOU GET AN ‘ICKY FEELING’

We’ve probably all experienced a moment where we were around someone or in a situation and had an uneasy feeling, usually in our stomach. We could sense that a person’s intentions weren’t good. Kids can feel this too. Sometimes this is referred to as an “icky” feeling.” Let your children know to trust this feeling and […]

ABUSERS ARE OFTEN SOMEONE YOU TRUST

While many use the term “monster” to describe sexual abusers – they do not usually come into the life of their victim formed as such. If anything, it’s quite the opposite – it’s someone they believe loves them and they love in return. It’s someone they trust, they look up to and enjoy being around […]

PRACTICE SAYING

While we can never guarantee that our children will have the fortitude to escape a bad situation (especially when abusers are often people they know & trust), we can do our best to give them skills and prepare them for the unexpected. Abuse often starts with grooming – building a close relationship and testing of trust/secrecy […]

ITS NEVER TOO LATE TO TELL

The moment a child discloses abuse will most likely be remembered as one of the toughest moments of their life. It is our job to make it as easy as possible for our children to come to us when they have something difficult to say. The last thing they want or need is judgement, questions […]

YOU ARE NEVER TO BLAME

Sexual abuse is often confusing for a child. Abusers often manipulate children by making them feel that this is a loving interaction, that it is normal. They often seek to pleasure the child so that the child feel good about what is happening. The older the child – the more likely they are to understand […]

ONLY 10% OF ABUSE CASES ARE BY STRANGERS

The good news is stranger danger is not as common as you might think. While it is terrifying to think of our child being kidnapped, the vast majority of kidnappings involve family members, and people known to the family/child. Although rare, when a child is abducted by a stranger it is often publicized repeatedly by […]

LOOK FOR AND READ BODY LANGUAGE

Consider how to protect your children when one-on-one activities occur when you are not home or outside the home. When two people are going out alone together: Ask them what their plans are before they leave – how does the adult or older child act? Do they provide specifics? Notice the adult or other child’s […]

AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD – PLAY DATES & SLEEPOVERS

Get to know the people in your neighborhood – if there are other parents with children, consider organizing an abuse prevention seminar from a local professional. Contact your local rape/crisis center or police station for resources. Run a search of registered sex offenders online, which usually only lists the most dangerous offenders (level 3). If […]

IN THE HOME

Let your house have an open-door policy when applicable. If it’s daytime and people are around the house – doors should be open if there is more than one person in the room. This should apply every day even if it’s just your immediate family or people are over to visit.  One-on-one time doesn’t need to […]