The Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County wants you to consider and be aware of ways to prevent child abuse
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.