Surveys show that as many as 1 in 4 children have suffered some sort of sexual abuse by the time they reach 18. Statistics show that child sexual abuse crosses boundaries of race, class, culture, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, affecting all types of communities.
Children today are around more adults on a daily basis than ever before. From childcare to sports practices to dance classes, not to mention camps and after-school programs, children are meeting and interacting with many adults on a daily basis.
That's why it is so important for parents to talk with their children — as early as age 4
— about inappropriate touching. And children even younger can begin to learn about their bodies.
What is "inappropriate touching"?
The clinical definition of child sexual abuse is inappropriately exposing or subjecting a child to sexual contact, activity or behavior. An easier way to think of it - and to teach children about it - is by contrasting "good touches" and "bad touches."
* A good touch can be explained as a way for people to show they care for each other and help each other. Examples you can give include hugging, holding hands, or a parent changing a baby's diaper.
* A bad touch can be explained as the kind you don't like and would want to stop right away, such as hitting, kicking or touching private parts.
Should you discover that your child has been inappropriately touched, as a parent it is the most important that you be an emotional support. In order to support your child, it is important that you stay calm, listen and reassure your child, make sure your child is safe, and get help.
How often are you dialogue with your child? How did you educate your child about strangers & inappropriate touching? What can you do as a parent to help protect your child?
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