10 Things to Teach Your Child to Prevent Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is actually more common than we think, although it seems so serious and delicate that it could never happen to our loved ones.
Children are exposed to this terrible experience every day and the worst thing that parents can do is to avoid the subject.
Sexual abuse occurs both inside and outside homes; and is defined as sexual activity in which at least one of the people involved does not have the will to consent.
In this sense, force, persuasion or coercion, is part of the act. Sexual abuse involves power being exercised over the abused person in a certain way.
It can also be described as intimate contact between an adult and a minor or even between two minors, when one of them coerces the other.
If you are among the large percentage of parents who think your family is exempt from this problem, just know that sexual abuse is frequent and happens to people of all social, educational and emotional backgrounds.
Sexual abuse affects children and adults alike, and it can be prevented effectively.
Having sexual activity with a minor is punishable by law. Many people find it difficult to determine when the abuse is occurring, what it is or under what conditions it occurs.
In this particular case, any physical activity that may seem like a game, may involve a crime.
It is important to clarify that children should not have any “game” of a sexual nature with any person, even a family member, of the same sex or not. The fact is that a child under the age of 19 is not psychologically capable of deciding to participate in such an activity.
It is a breach of law to accept the sexual consent of a minor because the law stipulates that they are not legally authorized to give sexual consent.
Sometimes when parents are involved, you may decide that there is no crime because they have rights over their children; but the law implies that no adult should exercise sexual power over another, in any case.
Another breach of the law is when there is some kind of sexual activity between two minors. This case is complicated, but it has a key determining factor: we must evaluate the possible coercing of one of those involved. When any type of pressure is exerted, it can qualify as abuse.
Consequently, if one of the children has coerced, persuaded or violated the other, then it can be considered abuse; and the abuser can be potentially processed legally.
7 things your child should know to prevent sexual abuse
Communication is extremely important. Taking advantage of communication for prevention is an invaluable tool. This is where the main ways to ending sexual abuse reside. So we should never stop talking to our children about this issue.
The other key is trust. Teaching our children that they can trust us fully, can avoid many evils in their childhood and promote strong, long-lasting relationships.
It is important to realize that a large number of children who are abused do not talk about what happened. This is the result of poor communication and lack of trust.
An abused child will experience a drastic change, so being quiet about it can be the trigger for serious personality problems. The worst case is for it to happen again or continue to happen.
To prevent sexual abuse, teach your children the following:
- The main risk is among the people closest to them.
- They should talk about any topic that bothers them, with complete confidence.
- They should never be alone with strangers.
- Be informed about the dangers on the Internet.
- Teach them that sexual activity is exclusively for adults, so no “game” of this type is normal, nor legal.
- Be wary of any confusing situation and rush to tell your parents, teachers or caregivers.
- Ask their parents anything they want to know about the subject and do not ask strangers or those who are not part of the family.
- It is imperative to let their parents know what is happening, without fear; because the abuser does not want this to be known, so letting parents know is the main key for prevention.
- Don’t be afraid of the aggressor. This makes it impossible for them to act freely or to be able to coerce children in any way.
- Be suspicious, no matter how close that person is. Know how to handle the issue with care to avoid misunderstandings that may compromise the personal integrity of others.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Martínez, J. (2011). Prevención del abuso sexual infantil: Análisis crítico de los programas educativos. Psykhe, 9(2). http://psykhe.cl/index.php/psykhe/article/view/443
- Deza Villanueva, S. (2005). Factores protectores en la prevención del abuso sexual infantil. Liberabit, 11(11), 19-24. http://pepsic.bvsalud.org/scielo.php?pid=S1729-48272005000100003&script=sci_abstract&tlng=es
- Higareda-Almaraz, M. A., Higareda-Almaraz, E., Higareda-Almaraz, I. R., Barrera-de León, J. C., Gómez-Llamas, M. A., & Benites-Godínez, V. (2011). Aptitud de padres para prevenir abuso sexual en menores después de una intervención educativa participativa. salud pública de méxico, 53(2), 134-140. http://www.scielo.org.mx/scielo.php?pid=s0036-36342011000200006&script=sci_arttext
- Morillo, B., Montero, L., & Colmenares, Z. (2012). Conocimiento de los padres en la prevención del abuso sexual infantil. Enfermería global, 11(25), 1-7. http://scielo.isciii.es/pdf/eg/v11n25/clinica1.pdf