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35 Easy Child Abuse Prevention Tips

  1. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18. By many, this is considered an epidemic.
  2. 60% of sexual abuse perpetrators are known to the child but are not family members. Make it a point to get to know the people in your child’s life.
  3. Be suspicious of someone who tries to spend alone time with your child, gives them gifts or has a “special relationship.”
  4. Just 10% of sex offenders are strangers to children. Predators are experts at integrating into child-friendly environments.
  5. About 30% of child sexual abuse perpetrators are family members (uncles, cousins, brothers, etc.)
  6. Children need to know that they can speak openly to a trusted adult and that they will be believed if they disclose abuse.
  7. Children who are victims of sexual abuse should always be reassured that they are not responsible for what has happened to them.
  8. Child pornographers and other abusers often times make contact with children via the internet. Keep the computer in a family space where you can monitor activity.
  9. Not all sexual perpetrators are adults. 23% of reported child sexual abuse cases are perpetrated by children who are under the age of 18.
  10. Giving your child a basic, age-appropriate sexual education will help to minimize the risk of abuse. Health professionals and Crisis Shelter personnel can help if you are uncomfortable.
  11. Talk to your child about communicating openly and the difference between good surprises (a birthday party) and bad secrets (tell no one ever).
  12. Teach your child that they should feel free to ask questions and talk about their experiences. Reassure them that their feelings are valid.
  13. Teach your child the accurate names for their private parts and where they are located – under their bathing suit.
  14. Teach your child that NO ONE should never touch or look at their private body parts unless it is to keep them healthy or clean.
  15. Teach your children that they can make decisions about their own bodies and say NO when they don’t want to be touched.
  16. Make sure to know your child’s friends and their families.  If you feel uneasy about leaving your child with someone, don’t do it!
  17. Talk to your children about “safe” and “unsafe” touches.  It is not ok for even trusted adults or other children to make unsafe touches.
  18. Child sexual abuse can include non-touching sexual offenses such as exposing children to sexual material depicting nudity and/or sex acts.
  19. Sexual exploitation of children includes using a child for prostitution or to film, model or photograph pornography.
  20. Sexual abuse robs children of their childhood and creates a loss of trust, feelings of guilt and self-abusive behavior.
  21. If you suspect child abuse of any kind, report it immediately to PA Childline 800-932-0313.
  22. Observe your child when they interact with others to see if they are hesitant or particularly uncomfortable with certain people or with people in general. Encourage continued dialogue with your child about what you observe.
  23. Demonstrate boundaries by showing your child how to say no. Teach them that their “no” will be respected when playing, hugging, etc.
  24. Statistics show that children rarely lie about child abuse – believe them when they tell.
  25. Set and respect family boundaries by giving everyone privacy in dressing, bathing, sleeping and other personal activities.
  26. Make a commitment to speak up as soon as you have a concern. Don’t wait for evidence of harm.
  27. Kids are immediately safer when parents and caregivers take the time to learn about sexual abuse and its warning signs.
  28. Explain the difference between a secret and a surprise. When keeping secrets becomes routine, your child is vulnerable to abuse.
  29. Stay on top of your child’s use of technology. They can easily stumble into inappropriate and/or dangerous situations or exchanges.
  30. Practice talking about difficult issues before there is a problem. Say the difficult words that make you uncomfortable out loud in order to become comfortable using them.
  31. Having stress-free conversations with both the adults and children in your life about difficult issues gets everyone in the habit of talking freely and openly.
  32. Show your child that you will listen to anything they have to say – even if it is something embarrassing or they have done something inappropriate or wrong.
  33. Speak up when you see, or are subject to, ANY inappropriate behavior. Interrupt and talk with the person who is making you uncomfortable.  This also models a good example for your children.
  34. Create a clear, easy-to-follow Family Safety Plan. Make sure that EVERYONE in the family knows how to challenge each other respectfully when inappropriate behavior occurs. This is good situational role playing for your children in a family-friendly environment.
  35. Teach your child about what to do and who to talk with if they are sexually threatened or touched inappropriately by someone.

Remember the most effective prevention involves taking action BEFORE abuse occurs.  Start in your home today – knowledge is power! For more information visit

Stop child abuse by donating to the BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL CAMPAIGN by calling 724-652-9036 or visiting!

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