How to Protect Your Child From Abuse
Parents should be asking how they can protect their children from child abuse from people they know.
We are all concerned about “stranger danger” with good cause but facts show that molestation and sexual abuse occur more frequently from people we and our children know. No one likes to think of that but it happens.
It is critical that children understand that boundaries are to protect us. You can begin by talking about the walls and the roof and asking if your child knows what they protect us from. Engage your child in a conversation about other boundaries they can identify.
Once you think your child has an understanding of boundaries you can proceed to talking about good body boundaries. Your child’s body is a boundary.
Begin by asking your child if hugs make him/her feel good, if holding hands make him/her feel good. And really listen to the answer.
Ask if your child can think of something that doesn’t make him/her feel good. I had a great uncle Alex who loved to pick me up and twirl me around and them rub his whiskers on my face. Now when you’re little your skin is really sensitive and I would walk around for hours with a red, sore face; of course he thought it was funny and so did the other “grownups” but that really is abusive. As a result I would hide from him whenever I could.
It’s important that our children know we will step in and stop something that is abusive – no matter what level or what type.