Are We TALKING To Our Kids Enough About Sexual Abuse?

by Susan

I’m over at Momversation talking about an uncomfortable but critical topic…
Talking to our Kids about Sexual Abuse.

I know you don’t want to even think about it, but we must talk about it to give kids the words and the confidence to speak up if they are a victim of abuse.



It can be really difficult to bring up the discussion and to know what to say. Here’s one very creative and effective way that one aunt taught her niece to stay safe.

thetoryparty.com

After I read that brilliant set of sketches, I decided to share with my 6 year old daughter about the time when a man on a bus exposed himself to me. I was only 6 years old when it happened, so I decided to explain to Julia, in very simple terms, what types of things can happen and what to do if it does.

We had a good conversation and I feel like it was a good step. But, I’m not done… keeping communication open about tough topics is an on going challenge.

What about you?

Have you talked to your kids about sexual abuse? At what age(s), when, how often and what have you said?

Come over to Momversation and let’s help each other talk to our kids and break the patterns of children becoming silent victims of sexual abuse.

 

Written by Susan Carraretto, co-founder of the Mom Blog 5 Minutes for Mom.
Talk with me: @5minutesformom and Facebook.com/5minutesformom.



Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer October 5, 2011 at 11:27 am

I just had a guest post about this topic on Scary Mommy last week. This is so, so, so important to talk with our kids about. I was kind of surprised at the number of people that had not broached this topic with their kids yet. I’m so glad I did because if I had not of then my daughter may very well have been a victim.

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2 Susan October 6, 2011 at 2:00 am

Yes, it is surprising how many people don’t talk to their kids about it. I don’t think my parents ever really brought it up with me.

And if I think about it, when that bus pervert exposed himself to me when I was only 6 years old and I told my mom what happened and insisted that I was never taking the bus home from school again, she arranged a car pool for us, but didn’t talk to me much about what happened.

I’ve been lucky and nothing else has even happened to me… I hope that if it had, that I would have spoken up, but statistics sure show that most don’t.

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3 Erin October 5, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I agree! I have not been a victim (thankfully), but I have friends who have been in places parents might think are ‘unlikely’ (sleepovers, a relative’s house).

It is sooooo important to talk to our kids about this. I started with my daughter at age 3, by reading a book to her about how her body is her own. There is a young woman who is fighting for vicitm’s rights: she has appeared on Oprah and has written a few books about her experiences: Erin Merryn (@ErinMerryn). She believes if she would have known as a child that what was happening to her was wrong & not her fault, and that she should tell an adult no matter what her abuser told her would happen to her if she did, that the abuse she suffered would have ended much sooner. Knowledge is power! Even for the youngest people!

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4 Susan October 6, 2011 at 2:02 am

Absolutely… Knowledge is POWER. For all ages.

It’s crazy how offenders can keep kids silent for years and years. We have to break the pattern. We have to make it easy for kids to speak up right away. Let’s give them the words and the power to stop the abuse.

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5 LaTersa Blakely October 6, 2011 at 8:00 am

This is so powerful because i have started talking to my kids *ages 3 and 5* about their body parts and how it’s not right if any adult or anyone else touches their private parts. I gotta keep at it because my kids are very curious and now is the time to teach them while they are very teachable. Great post. We have to protect our kids

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6 Tory October 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Thank you so much for sharing the Perverts comic with your community! I am working on more comics like this one to break the ice on difficult subjects — from bullying to money management. Moms and Dads need all the support they can get!

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7 Erin merryn October 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Education is KEY! Children must be educated on sexual abuse if you ever want them to speak up about it otherwise the only message they are getting is from the one abusing them and they are either threatening them or telling them not to tell anyone about their secret.
Erin’s law will be introduced in New York this month. Press conference I will be speaking at when I am speaking in the state later this month on the 25th.
Erin’s law is passed in two states Illinois and Missouri. One day it will be all 50 states!

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8 Courtney October 11, 2011 at 10:25 am

This is a crucial topic…with the statistics being 1 in 3 of our children in the US being sexually abused before adulthood…it’s something we cannot ignore or remain silent about.

I purchased a book called, “My Body Belongs to Me.” It is actually geared to children as young as 3 years old, a non-scary way of presenting healthy boundaries.

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