We understand that parenting is not an easy task. Parents take up challenges and support children in realizing their full potential and in keeping them safe.
Stories in the media coupled with misunderstandings about Child Sexual Abuse often makes parents feel that Child Sexual Abuse is either inevitable or negligible. It either forces parents to feel helpless or hypervigilant or even be in denial.
However, it is a fact that adults cannot be with children all the time.
We know it can be hard for parents and carers to talk to children about Child Sexual Abuse. No doubt, Child Sexual Abuse is an issue that is difficult to talk about, and often, difficult to even acknowledge. Every caregiver worries about their children’s safety, but there is also an apprehension that if we talk to children about personal safety, it will make them anxious and frighten them.
We agree with you, fear is not an effective teaching tool, but confidence is. Like you, we also want our children to grow up with the belief that most adults are safe. However, we also believe teaching children about personal safety from a young age provides them with knowledge and skills to prevent Child Sexual Abuse and seek support in case of any violations.
Only Aware Parents and Caretakers can make children aware and keep them safe. Arpan engages with parents and conducts awareness sessions with them so that they are able to create a safe environment for their children and effectively deal with disclosures of Child Sexual Abuse. Arpan also handhold parents and caregivers of children who have experienced sexual abuse through psychoeducation and healing support.
You can be an Aware Parent too!
Know more about the issue, the signs and symptoms of CSA, ways to prevent it, support and seek help. Be articulate about your discomfort, if any.
Here are few tips on : How to talk to your child about Personal Safety?
Get involved in your child’s life as there is no substitute for your attention and supervision
Tell Them We Care : We love our children, but how often do we take the time to tell them? Make it a habit.
Respect the child’s feelings : Respect the child’s feeling and their likes and dislikes around touches.
Talk “the talk” : There is no magic age at which you can have “the talk” around personal safety. But it is a good idea to have many talks. It is best to talk with your child from a young age in an age-appropriate manner so that it does not come as surprises or shame.
Teach Personal Safety : Teach your children about Personal Safety as you are their best teacher. Teach names of Private body parts, identification of safe and unsafe touches as well as Personal Safety Rules.
Answer children : Answer children’s question honestly and factually in an age-appropriate manner.
Listen : Talk goes both ways. A good way to encourage children to talk is to be an active listener; do not appear to judge the child or what happened
Stay calm : Speak to your child in a calm and reassuring way.
Aware Parents and Caretakers Can also Help a Child who has been Sexually Abused
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our children become victims of sexual abuse. We need to help our children overcome the abuse. To help them, we can do the following:
Step 1 : Recognize that the child has been sexually abused
Step 2 : Help the child talk about this experience
Step 3 : Seek professional support to help a child heal