Many cases of sexual assaulting children go unreported, making it hard to determine or know when one occurs. When children aren’t educated about sexual assault, they’re at a higher risk of being victimized. An assaulter can either be a stranger or known to the victim; the latter is always the case, making up about 70% of all reported cases.
Girls and boys aged 7 to 13 years are more vulnerable to sexual assault. A victimized child is likely to suffer from depression, PTSD, abuse substances such as drugs and alcohol, or contemplate suicide. Therefore, it’s important to protect your child from possible sources of assault.
It’s important to protect your children from sexual predators. Based on your child’s age, you need to know when it’s right to talk to them about sex predators because they can get traumatized, fail to understand the concept or simply take it lightly as a joke. There’s need for a good parent-child relationship, the right age of the child or timing, parental control and proper explanation not just to get the point home, but also the fact that this is a sensitive topic.
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Develop an open, calm and loving relationship with your kids if you want them to share important information with you. At 2 two to 3 years, you need to create self awareness about your child’s body parts and let them know that they fully own their bodies, hence nobody should touch them.
With an open relationship with your kids, they can share anything with you, including private information. This is the best time to teach your child self-worth and ask them to tell you if someone addresses them inappropriately (both physically and mentally). However, do not go into details about their private parts as they’re too young to understand.
School-going children should know their names, contact information and addresses. However, ask them not to talk to strangers or divulge personal or family information to people they don’t know as doing so is dangerous. At this age, your child should be fully aware of their body parts and know what’s considered private, hence nobody should touch them, be it a stranger or family member. If such happens, they need to alert you immediately.
Teach your child about sexual predators and how they can identify them. Let them know how sex predators behave, their tricks and, if possible, play likely scenarios with your kids so they understand the concept better.
Adolescents & Teenagers
Teenagers and adolescents learn by example. Give them their space and privacy while still maintaining an open relationship with them. Be your child’s role model and monitor how they behave around family and friends. Know their friends and talk to them about peer influence and the media; tell them what’s real and what’s not, what’s important and what isn’t.
Explain to your kid(s) why they should never go out alone or in private places. If they must go out or in a private place such as bathrooms, they should be in the company of an adult or their friends as it’s always safe to walk in groups.
There’s also the need to administer parental control to monitor your kids’ use of electronic gadgets and technology such as mobile phones and the internet. Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat are among the most popular platforms for sex predators. They hide under teenage profiles and befriend their victims to convince them to meet in a real life.
The bottom line is to build an open and trusting relationship with your kids so that they can always open up and share anything with you.
Steps to Talk to Your Child about Sexual Predators
- Learn to listen; do more listening than talking.
- Be respectful when talking to your child.
- Find time to talk to your teenager.
- Reflect on what you talk about.
- Use a respectful tone that shows you care.
- Clearly make your limits and expectations known.
- Talk to your child when you’re calm.
- Ask open ended questions and when you’re wrong, admit your mistakes.
- Don’t be serious; make your conversations light and humorous.
- Use the mSpy parental control solution to monitor your kids’ social media and chatting apps usage.
The solution gives you access to geo-fencing and GPS location features. Whereas geo-fencing will let you know when your child trespasses a no-go zone, GPS location will let you know the location of your kids at any given time.
mSpy – Know. Prevent. Protect.