Although Child Abuse Prevention Month 2021 is coming to an end, Safe Shores’ focus on prevention continues year round. Here is something adults can do right now to #ProtectKids365: learn and share the five steps of child abuse prevention from Darkness to Light.
Each step is a piece of the prevention puzzle, and by learning all five steps, you can better protect the children in your life and your community.
Learn more about these five steps at a Stewards of Children® training. These classes are free and virtual. Register for an upcoming Stewards of Children® training today.
Step 1: Know the Facts about Child Sexual Abuse
Awareness is the first step in prevention. Although we would like to believe that child sexual abuse cases are rare, the fact is that 1 in 10 children will experience child sexual abuse before their 18th birthday.
Step 2: Minimize the Risk of Child Sexual Abuse
80% of child sexual abuse cases happen in isolated one-on-one situations. Ensure children are in environments where they can be observed and interrupted. Lobby for policies to be put in place in youth organizations that will reduce the opportunities for children to be in isolated situations.
Step 3: Talk Honestly about Child Sexual Abuse
Start talking about child sexual abuse early. Teach children what parts of their bodies other people cannot touch, and use the correct names for those body parts. Make sure children know abusers can be people they know and love.
Step 4: Recognize Signs of Child Sexual Abuse
Signs of child sexual abuse aren’t always obvious, nor are they always physical. Emotional and behavioral signs are more common. This could look like rebellious behavior, or overly compliant perfection.
Step 5: React Responsibly to Child Sexual Abuse
If a child discloses child sexual abuse to you, remain calm and don’t react with anger or disbelief. Make sure the child knows you believe them, and praise them for being so brave in telling you.