Child sexual abuse is something that no parent wants to face. The horror of this potential reality prompts many of us to avoid discussing it with anyone, including our parenting partners, other parents, and especially with our children.
Many of us think, “If I tell my son or daughter how to recognize wrong behavior, I will introduce them to a world of fear and scary things.” While that worry is valid, it’s more important to educate them early on to help prevent it from ever happening.
According to the National Children’s Advocacy Center, parents should talk to their children in early childhood before they might be targeted by an abuser. The NCAC also lists 10 things you can talk to your children about regarding abuse, and what to do when a child tells you about abuse.
To better understand why early conversations about abuse are important, watch this animated video from The Times of India. It illustrates one scenario of how Komal, a 7-year-old girl, deals with sexual abuse and suggests how you can talk to your child about preventing it.
Hopefully you never have a reason to seek this kind of help for your child, but if you do, or if you just need additional information to prepare for your talk, try one of these hotlines and their websites.
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
Talk to a counselor, learn about the signs of abuse, report abuse, and seek emotional support.
Child Abuse Hotline
This list of child abuse hotlines in each state allows you to locally report abuse or neglect.
It’s a difficult topic to think about, and even more difficult to talk about. As the second half of the video demonstrates, starting the conversation early can help teach your child how to get out of a bad situation and how to report anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.