In the 21st century, Sexual Abuse has become so rampant that it can happen with anyone, irrespective of his/her age, gender, race or sexual orientation. Victims of Sexual Abuse often stay quiet about the assault. In 9 out of 10 cases the victim goes into acute physical and psychological trauma.
Now think of the trauma that you will undergo if your child is subjected to molestation or abuse. The very thought might be discomforting but studies says that in India every 2 out of 5 female child and 1 out of 5 male child is subjected to abuse before the age of 18. Thus it is very important that you reach out to your children and make them aware about Sexual Abuse. Clear Communication is the only effective way to protect your child from being a victim of molestation.
So how would you discuss such a sensitive topic and make your child aware about Sexual Abuse???
Talk to your child as a companion and not as parent: Children associate more with their friends than parents. Creating a comfort zone is very important before discussing such issues. If you initiate healthy conversations, answer your child’s questions without hesitation; in a comprehendible manner and handle disclosures with care then you will become more approachable to your child.
Make them aware about the private parts of their body: When you are teaching your child about body parts like head, nose, ears, fingers, etc., teach them about ‘vagina’ and ‘penis’ as well. Teach them about the importance of the private parts of their body in an amicable manner. Children cannot disclose their abuse because they aren’t aware about the exact name of their body parts. It is important to make them aware about both male and female anatomy.
Make then understand the boundary between love and abuse: Many-a-times it is seen that the elders in the family abuse the children in the name of showing love or babysitting. There is a difference between a hug and an act of Sexual Abuse. Your child must be able to differentiate between them. This can only be done when you help him/her understand the boundaries.
It is OK to say NO: Make your child aware that no one has the right to touch or hurt their private body parts. If they feel a pain or force they must shout out and ask for help. Whoever it is, a friend, relative or acquaintance, your child must say a NO to Sexual Abuse. No one has the right to make your child feel uncomfortable and inflict pain.
In most cases the victim of a child abuse is unaware that he/she has been abused. This brings to the need of spreading the awareness about Sexual Abuse amongst your children. It is time; your children realise that their body is sacred and private, that no one can harm them and that there is their parents who would always stay beside them. In such situations they can raise their voice, say a ‘NO’, stop abuse and molestation and bring the culprit to justice.
Stay Safe and Spread Awareness.