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 […]

MINIMIZING ONE-ON-ONE IN MORE CASUAL SITUATIONS

Whether it’s an established karate studio or an in-home piano teacher, there are things we can look for and require to make after school activities safer for our kids. If your child is going to someone’s home, find out where the lessons will be taking place, if you are allowed to stay during the visit, […]

CARETAKERS AND BABYSITTERS

You are obviously putting a great amount of responsibility into the hands of this person. They are alone in your home (or theirs) with your children. You cannot do a background check on someone who is under 18. Hiring a babysitter/caretaker that you feel confident in is important. Don’t put your children in a situation […]

YOUTH SERVING ORGANIZATIONS

Many organizations may already have in place or are working to put into place a protocol for minimizing the sexual abuse of children. This mostly applies for large organizations that are at greater risk, and their insurance companies are actually requiring that they have protocol in place to minimize opportunity as well as reporting procedures. […]

PEOPLE OF AUTHORITY

These are people whom we hold a level of respect for that may or may not work with children. We want to believe they are responsible, good, caring people. Rabbis, teachers, doctors, policemen, business owners, coaches, youth leaders, tutors, clergy, babysitters, caretakers, etc. We must accept that these people are just that – people. We cannot […]

SPECIAL CAUTION REQUIRED FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES

The pattern of targeting and grooming is of particular importance in relation to disabled children and as mainstream services become more vigilant, perpetrators may move into other less attentive services, such as voluntary agencies that serve disabled children and young people, in order to access potential victims. Any visible disabilities might mark a child out […]

A WARNING FOR SINGLE PARENTS

“I cannot say enough words of caution to single women with children: do not allow the men you are dating to have access to your children… It is hard to think that your new-found romantic interest is actually not as interested in you as in seeking access to your children, but it can be absolute […]

EVEN IF THERE ARE NO SIGNS – ASK

Some children show no signs of abuse. Most children will not tell.  It is good parenting to check-in with our children and ask if anything inappropriate has ever happened to them. Remind them that no matter what has happened, whatever anyone has ever said or made them feel, it is never their fault, and that […]

HOW DO CHILDREN EXPOSE SEXUAL ABUSE

Child sexual abuse is largely an unwitnessed and often undetected crime. Research suggests that most cases of child sexual abuse are never disclosed to authorities (Martin & Silverstone, 2013). In New South Wales (NSW), the proportion of risk of significant harm (ROSH) reports1 made concerning child sexual abuse to the Child Protection Helpline has risen […]

IDENTIFYING POSSIBLE SIGNS OF ABUSE

Children Cannot Be Held Responsible For Their Own Safety Childhood should be about so many amazing things. Sure there will be trials and tribulations that they will work through, but sexual abuse should not be one of them. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves to better identify possible abuse. Often the signs and symptoms […]

WHY CHILDREN DON’T TELL

There are a myriad of reasons why children don’t tell, but almost always, an abuser must mentally and emotionally brainwash a child in order to perpetrate. It can be heartbreaking to learn what abusers say and make children think during the abuse. The child may not be old enough to understand that they are being […]

UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF SEXUAL ABUSE

Different survivors react to their experiences differently. This does not necessarily depend on what happened physically. A survivor who has been raped will not necessarily be more damaged than a survivor who has been touched. The degree of damage depends on the degree of traumatic sexualization, stigmatization, betrayal, and powerlessness that the child has experienced. […]

WHAT A PREDATOR LOOKS FOR

When interviewed, convicted child sex-offenders admitted to being very particular about the children they chose to abuse. They looked for children that were loners or seemed less-confident and in need of attention/affection/love. They exploited this need, showing interest, making the child feel loved, and in turn used that emotional connection to perpetrate their bodies. The […]

AGE-APPROPRIATE SEXUAL BEHAVIOR

It can be hard to acknowledge that all of us, even children, are sexual beings, have sexual feelings and are curious about sex and sexuality. Children’s curiosity can lead to exploring their own and each other’s body parts by looking and touching. They may peek when family members are in the bathroom or changing clothes […]

CHILDREN THAT ABUSE

This may be one of the biggest reality-checking curveballs regarding child sexual abuse: Who would have ever thought that up to 40% of abusers were older or more powerful children? Generally, an age difference of 3 years or more is enough for the older child to be aware that what he/she is doing is wrong. […]

WOMEN THAT ABUSE

It is hard to get solid statistical evidence to support just how often it happens because so many victims abused by women tell much less than those abused by men. Many victims don’t think people will believe them. Many don’t realize they were being abused until they are older. Although limited research exists, it is suggested […]

ABUSE WITHIN THE FAMILY UNIT – INCEST

Incest is allowed to thrive when people lack the fortitude to accept that it exists. The attitude that it happens in “other” families but couldn’t happen in our own, puts children at risk. It could involve grooming or not, because most often the sense of trust, affection, and love have already been established between the […]

ABUSERS NEED OPPORTUNITY

In most cases, abusers seek or take advantage of being in a position of trust in a one-on-one situation with a child: a bedroom, a bathroom, a car, a place out of view of other people.They either happen upon an opportunity or they need you to trust them alone with your child. Many may offer to […]