Although as parents we don't expect our children to become victims of abuse, it’s still vital for us to educate them so they know what to do if they are ever targeted by an abuser. A little preparation can save those we love from ongoing turmoil and heartache.
Although child abuse is not always preventable, parents can take steps to significantly reduce the risk for their children.
The Boy Scouts of America has produced helpful materials to educate parents and children on this important topic. The Scout booklet, “How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide” is an excellent resource. Although the booklet is about protecting boys, the principles can be adapted to girls.
The first section of the booklet offers information for parents. The second section is for parents to share with their children.
Open communication between you and your child is essential. The booklet counsels, “It is important that you read the entire booklet before you and your son do any of the exercises together. You might be tempted to hand this booklet to your son and tell him to read it. We urge you to resist this temptation. Your son needs to know that he can openly discuss difficult topics with you."
The booklet teaches children about their rights: When feeling threatened, kids have the right to:
- "Trust their instincts or feelings.
- Expect privacy.
- Say no to unwanted touching or affection.
- Say no to an adult’s inappropriate demands and requests.
- Withhold information that could jeopardize their safety.
- Refuse gifts.
- Be rude or unhelpful if the situation warrants.
- Run, scream, and make a scene.
- Physically fight off unwanted advances.
- Ask for help.”
- “Recognize that anyone could be a child molester and be aware of situations that could lead to abuse.
- Resist advances made by child molesters to avoid being abused.
- Report any molestation or attempted molestation to parents or other trusted adults.”
Here is the link again: “How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide”