As school is back in session and your children are meeting new teachers and people it is important to review body safety rules with them for the upcoming year. You may be asking, “What is body safety?” Good question. Body safety is teaching children that their body is their own. No one should touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. Most importantly if someone does touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable you want to know about it. By reviewing or introducing this information it does two things. Firstly and most importantly it opens the door for your child to confide in you if something happens. If you say nothing, they will say nothing. Child abuse is built on silence and is like a house of cards. Without the silence one card falls, then the whole structure collapses. Many parents do not say anything out of fear. Fear that if they say something somehow this will invite the abuse. This thinking is flawed but permeates our society. See no evil, hear no evil. Meanwhile, children are being abused at an alarming rate. This static is from the Huffington Post: “Every 98 seconds someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. That means every single day more than 570 people experience sexual violence in this country.”
I could not find an accurate breakdown for children and sexual assault because this information is under-documented. Most children do not tell an adult about being harmed. If you give your children this information chances are that they will talk to you if something happens. If you open the door to this subject with children it will go along way to keeping them safe.
“The primary reason that the public is not sufficiently aware of child sexual abuse as a problem is that 73% of child victims do not tell anyone about the abuse for at least a year. 45% of victims do not tell anyone for at least 5 years. Some never disclose (Smith et al., 2000; Broman-Fulks et al., 2007” http://www.cachouston.org/child-sexual-abuse-facts/
The second reason this information is so crucial is that when sharing this information with your child you are reinforcing with your child what they already know to be true. When children are touch inappropriately radar goes off blaring, “This is wrong, this is not safe.” By you talking to your child about this before something happens you will be present in their mind and will be with them in thought if something unsafe does happen. They will say to themselves, “Mom and Dad told me this wrong. They told me what to do. I know what to do.” With this scenario you and your children are golden. Your child will only be encountering unwanted touched most like once before you intervene. Child abuse is very simple. It is built on fear and silence. Parents can go a long way to keeping their children safe by doing preventative education. It is not hard to protect your children from unwanted touch; it is very hard to clean up after long-term abuse has occurred.
I worked as a middle school counselor for over a decade and heard awful stories of trauma and abuse. One day it dawned on me, “Is no one talking to the little people?” I wanted to begin talking to the little people for all of the children at my school that I could not protect. My students were 11- 14 years old. The abuse they encountered happened from 2-8 years old. I could not help them; I could not do anything but remediation work. One afternoon I wrote Some Parts are NOT for Sharing in one sitting. I believe it was God inspired. I am just the vehicle to send out this message. My first draft was my last draft. The first publisher I sent it to picked it up and published my work. If you have ever tried to write a book or known someone who has, you know God completely drives this story. It is never this simple. It was ten years ago in August that I wrote the book. I am getting my message out to young people but there are always still so many, many children I have not reached yet. Hoping to spread some prevention information this fall to the children of Denver. There is no greater gift that a parent can give their child than the gift of safety. To order Some Parts are NOT for Sharing visit E bay: goo.gl/77fStV
This book is also available in Spanish.
Thank you for protecting your children!