10 Relevant Tips to Help You Secure Your Children From Sexual Abuse


Sexual abuse can happen to child of any race, socioeconomic group, religion or culture. 

There is no foolproof way to protect children from sexual abuse, but there are steps you can take to reduce this risk. 
If something happens to your child, remember that the perpetrator is to blame not you and especially not the child. When it comes to sexual abuse, prevention is the key. 
So, what can parents do to prevent child sexual abuse? Here are some tips that will help you keep your children safe.

1. Talk about the body parts at an early stage

Name body parts and talk about them very early. Use proper names for body parts, or at least teach your child what the actual words are for their body parts. 

Feeling comfortable using these words and knowing what they mean can help a child talk clearly if something inappropriate has happened.

2. Teach them that some of the body parts are private

Tell your child that their private parts are called private because they are not for everyone to see. 

Explain that mommy and daddy can see them naked, but people outside of the home should only see them with their clothes on. 

Explain how their doctor can see them without their clothes because mommy and daddy are there with them and the doctor is checking their body. 

Private parts include: For males: 

a) Penis

b) Scrotum

c) Buttocks 

d) Anus

e) Perineum

f) Mous pubis and groin

While the females private part include: a) Vulva

b) vagina

c) Breast

d) Buttocks

e) Anus

f) Perineum

g) Mous pubis and groin

3. Teach your child body boundaries

Tell your child matter-of-factly that no one should touch their private parts and that no one should ask them to touch somebody else’s private parts. Parents will often forget the second part of this sentence. Sexual abuse often begins with the perpetrator asking the child to touch them or someone else.

4. Tell your child that body secrets are not okay

Most perpetrators will tell the child to keep the abuse a secret. 

This can be done in a friendly way, such as, “I love playing with you, but if you tell anyone else what we played they won’t let me come over again.” 

Or it can be a threat: “This is our secret. If you tell anyone I will tell them it was your idea and you will get in big trouble!” 

Tell your kids that no matter what anyone tells them, body secrets are not okay and they should always tell you if someone tries to make them keep a body secret.

5. Tell your child that no one should take pictures of their private parts 

This one is often missed by parents. There is a whole sick world out there of pedophiles who love to take and trade pictures of naked children online. 

This is an epidemic and it puts your child at risk. Tell your kids that no one should ever take pictures of their private parts.

6. Teach your child how to get out of scary or uncomfortable situations 

Some children are uncomfortable with telling people “no”— especially older peers or adults. 

Tell them that it’s okay to tell an adult they have to leave, if something that feels wrong is happening, and help give them words to get out of uncomfortable situations. 

Tell your child that if someone wants to see or touch private parts they can tell them that they need to leave to go potty.

7. Have a code word your children can use when they feel unsafe or want to be picked up 

As children get a little bit older, you can give them a code word that they can use when they are feeling unsafe. 

This can be used at home, when there are guests in the house or when they are on a play date or a sleepover.

8. Tell your children they will never be in trouble if they tell you a body secret 

Children often tell me that they didn’t say anything because they thought they would get in trouble too. 

This fear is often used by the perpetrator. Tell your child that no matter what happens, when they tell you anything about body safety or body secrets they will NEVER get in trouble.

9. Tell your child that a body touch might tickle or feel good

Many parents and books talk about “good touch and bad touch,” but this can be confusing because often these touches do not hurt or feel bad. 
I prefer the term “secret touch,” as it is a more accurate depiction of what might happen. They should avoid close body contact with people. 
They should not allow adults to make them sit on their laps. Tight and long body hugging is a not okay most especially from adult of the opposite sex. Side hugging and very brief hugging is ideal.

10. Lately tell your child that these rules apply even with people they know and even with another child

This is an important point to discuss with your child. 
When you ask a young child what a “bad guy” looks like they will most likely describe a cartoonish villain. 
You can say something like, “Mommy and daddy might touch your private parts when we are cleaning you or if you need cream — but no one else should touch you there. 
Not friends, not aunts or uncles, not teachers or coaches. Even if you like them or think they are in charge, they should still not touch your private parts.”

If you know any child that is going through any form of child abuse please help the child to get help by reporting the abuse to the appropriate authority. CHILD ABUSE is all forms of physical and/or emotional maltreatment, sexual abuse, neglect, commercial or other exploitation of a child resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity.
In all actions concerning the child, his or her best interest and well-being must be given paramount consideration.
The use of a child for the purpose of begging for alms, prostitution, domestic or sexual labour, as a slave or practices similar to slavery, forced or compulsory labour or for any purpose that deprives the child of the opportunity to attend and remain in school is a crime and it attracts imprisonment for a term of 10 years.
Employing any person under 18 years as domestic help outside his home or family environment is a crime that attracts 5 years imprisonment.
Anybody who has sexual intercourse with a child less than 18 years will be convicted to imprisonment for life.
Exposing or involving a child in the use of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances is an offence liable to life imprisonment.
Every form of child abuse is a serious offence that is punishable by the law. Every child has the right to be free from every form of abuse.
Report any cases of child abuse to the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), your state Ministry of Women and Children Affairs or any NGO (Non-governmental Organisation) that advocates for the rights of children. 
If you notice any form of child abuse and you do not report, you are as guilty as the person committing the crime. Let’s join our hands to make the world a better place for children to live and grow.
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