Reporting Behaviors of Concern
Yesterday we talked about specific behaviors of concern that may tell you that someone is sexually abusing or being abused. Now we’re going to talk about what to do if you see a behavior of concern and/or a child discloses abuse to you. Trust Your Gut and Speak Up Wherever you see behaviors of concern […]Read full story
Child Sexual Abuse – The Warning Signs
Adult sexual abusers groom children (and their parents) rather methodically. By paying attention to warning signs, adults can disrupt behaviors of concern. Behaviors of Concern in Adults Pay attention to adults who spend excessive time with children instead of peers, who have a “special” kid friend, and who turn to children for comfort or activities […]Read full story
Choosing Safe Caregivers
In most cases of child sexual abuse, the abuser is alone with the child, has authority over the child, and takes advantage of the child’s trust. With this in mind, how can you choose safe authority figures and activities for your child? It starts with screening. Just as you would take the time to vet […]Read full story
Courageous Conversations – Speaking up for Children
When I started doing prevention education in the 1980’s, the focus was on empowering kids to say “No” should they find themselves in a vulnerable situation. At some point, however, it became clear to me that it was unfair to put this burden on children, when we as adults are the ones responsible for keeping […]Read full story
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is Child Abuse Prevention month, an excellent opportunity to raise awareness for a silent epidemic that harms our children: child sexual abuse. In the face of this epidemic, I believe we have to confront the facts, speak with caregivers, and respond to behaviors of concern in our homes, schools, daycare, youth programs, and places […]Read full story
Is Your Child Trying to Tell You Something?
Children don’t usually tell us how they are feeling in a direct way especially about their worries. Instead, they say things out of context, give clues, and as they get older, test the waters to see how a topic might be received. This means we have to listen extra carefully and inquire, even when the […]Read full story
Seizing Teachable Moments to Reinforce Body Safety
Parents often ask me how to talk with children about sexual abuse prevention without scaring them. I recommend teaching kids prevention through body safety. Children provide us with teachable moments each and every day for reinforcing body-safety concepts in an age-appropriate, non-threatening way. Just think about all the questions kids ask from “How does the […]Read full story
How Is Your Child’s School Reducing the Risk of Child Sexual Abuse?
While summer is in full swing, children will be starting or returning to school in no time. If you have not had a chance to screen your child’s school, preschool, daycare, or activity program for child sexual abuse prevention, there’s no time like the present. We recommend inviting both the school director and teachers onto […]Read full story
Empowering Your Child to Say “No!”
It is a parent’s responsibility to keep children safe by safe screening caregivers, but it is also useful to teach children how to deal with difficult situations should someone try to break a body-safety rule. If Somebody Tries to Touch Your Private Parts, Say “No” or “Stop It.” While it’s important to teach children to […]Read full story
Do Your Children Have Body-Safety Rules?
We teach children numerous rules for being safe, from blowing on hot soup and using the cross walk to wearing a seat belt and riding with a helmet. But what about personal body safety around touch, private parts, and boundaries? It turns out that children who are knowledgeable about body-safety are not only more confident, […]Read full story