A MORAL OBLIGATION TO HELP OTHERS

Being a good person isn’t just about not hurting others; it’s about helping others. Your child may witness or suspect abuse of another child, or may even have a friend that discloses their abuse to him/her. Especially when abuse is perpetrated by a peer or in a group setting (e.g. hazing, house parties, shuls, or at a […]

EMPATHY, RESPECT, COMPASSION – FOR ALL PEOPLE

We must raise children to respect all life. We cannot pick and choose which people/things deserve better treatment than others, it must be understood and children must be involved in learning and living that all life is a gift, we are all connected and equally deserving to be treated with compassion. We cannot end child […]

CONFIDENT KIDS ARE LESS SUSCEPTIBLE TO GROOMING

All children crave love, affection, and attention. They need to know that they are special and appreciated. Abusers know this, and use it to their advantage by targeting children based on the support from their family, or lack thereof. Children that feel loved by the people that care for them, that love themselves, and know that […]

SEXUAL ABUSE IS A CRIME

Don’t assume your children know right from wrong – make sure of it. Let your child know that sexual abuse is a crime. This might seem obvious, but it is important that we do our part to make sure our children understand that sexual abuse is against our morals and the law. Since up to […]

SEXUAL RESPONSE AND RESPONSIBILITY (10 YEARS+)

“It is important that your child know that as thinking, conscious human beings we have the opportunity to think about how to deal with our own arousal before we do anything with it.” -Dr Janet Rosenzweig, “The Sex-Wise Parent” Children need to understand that sexual arousal, even if intentional and certainly if not, does not […]

SIBLINGS

Sibling abuse is suggested to be one of the most under-reported forms of child sexual abuse. Although there is limited data on the prevalence of it, the most common form of reported sibling sexual abuse involves an older brother victimizing a younger sister. Understanding sexuality and experiencing puberty can be very confusing for children, and […]

THE BULLYING CONNECTION

The characteristics of bullying and sexual abuse perpetrated by minors is often similar: A positive attitude toward violence A need to dominate others, be popular & in control Impulsive, aggressive behavior Lack of empathy toward bullied or less popular children Bullied children and sexually abused children also share similar characteristics: Low self esteem, depression, eating […]

IT’S NOT JUST A SEX TALK

Most professionals agree that we need to explain puberty and sexual intercourse to our children. It may be to your advantage to explain it sooner rather than later before your children get the information from older siblings or siblings of friends. The more they learn before you have the opportunity to share information in an open […]

TEACH THEM HOW TO TALK TO STRANGERS

The idea that kids should never talk to strangers, can actually put them at greater risk if they should find themselves in a situation where they are isolated and need assistance. When you feel your child is ready to understand, teach them to engage in simple conversation with others when you are out together. Communication […]

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 […]

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 […]