Child Sexual Abuse: What You Should Do to Protect Your Child (Part 1)

Ololade Hector-Fowobaje

The home is the first solution centre as far as preventing child sexual abuse is concerned, and mothers, especially, should be at the helm of affairs in abuse-proofing the home. Find what every parent should do below.

1. Age–grouped basic sexuality education for every child in the home (from age 2), which should include the meaning of incest (especially for preteens and teens) and its consequences.

  • Tell them that their breasts, vagina and penis are private parts. These parts, because they are private to them, should only be seen by them, and never to be shown to anybody for any reason. Please don’t call the private parts funny names, tell it as it is. Vagina is ‘vagina’, penis is ‘penis’. This is important to avoid confusion.
  • That no child (whether sister, brother, cousin or friend) or adult (whether dad, uncle, aunt, other relative, driver, guardian or teacher) should touch their private parts for any reason. Even if they are given sweets or money, they should say ‘No’.
  • They in turn should not touch any child or adult’s private part because that is private to them too.

2. Sensitize children to the reality of sexual abuse by teaching them to be ASSERTIVE and say NO to any SECRET touch. Tell them a simple ‘no!’ when someone tries to touch their private part or they are told to touch others’ and keep it a secret is crucial.

Remind them that it’s not okay for an adult, older person or peer to touch a private part of their body. Show them their private parts- the penis, vagina, breasts, thighs, bottom and anus. You can also put up quick-education posters on child sexual abuse in their bedrooms to serve as a reminder.

3. Instruct the girls, never to sit on a man’s laps. Why? Abusers press their privates into little girls’ bottom and that’s usually how the abuse commences.

READ ALSO: RAPE: 10 Ways to Protect Yourself & Children

4. Perpetual Vigilance, even around spouses and close/favourite relatives. While it is not easy to identify an abuser (some can be as hermitic as a crab, while some can be as happy-go-lucky and sanguine as a clown), you can watch out for clues. Be suspicious about people who always want to be alone with your children, people who encourage children to break your rules and those you feel uncomfortable with.

If you smell a rat, separate your child immediately from the suspect and investigate. Generally, watch out for people’s body language; anything that makes you feel uncomfortable should be checked. A mother noticed that her daughter was always giving a man around her shop one ‘funny mean look’ and investigations revealed that the man had started rubbing his hands all over her buttocks in the mother’s absence. If your children suddenly start avoiding a particular person or place, or are uncomfortable, you should notice and investigate discreetly.

5. Encourage your children to tell you their dreams! Sometimes, through their dreams you can unearth the hidden and negative things on their mind, so that you can quickly correct all misinformation and put things in the right perspective.

My son once told me about a dream he had, and in the course of our conversation, I discovered that a girl had been telling their other classmates that she loved him. I also found out that there was a lot of boy/girl and sex talk going on in his class; one of his classmates had even vividly described what sex was to all of them!

…To be continued.

13 Discussions on
“Child Sexual Abuse: What You Should Do to Protect Your Child (Part 1)”

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.