3 Ways to Protect Your Child from Sexual Abuse

Being a parent is the MOST.  It is the job we have that is the most challenging, the most difficult and the most rewarding and yet, we receive very little training on how to do it effectively, especially when it comes to sexual abuse.

As a Grammy to a 3-year old grandson and the mother of two grown children, I fully understand the complexities of being a parent and what it means for them to feel safe.

Not only am I a Practitioner who works with adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse,  I am also a survivor of sexual, physical and emotional abuse.  During the 52 year case study of myself and working with clients, I have contemplated, studied and watched the effects of abuse on children as they mature into adults.

Our children are like “case studies” in that we try this and experiment with that and have no real idea of how it will effect our child or the outcome until years later.

The sad truth is we cannot physically protect our children every minute of every day.   We also cannot create such fear in them or ourselves that we rob them (and us) of a happy life.   So what do we do?

After careful consideration, I believe these three ways are the most effective things you can do to protect your child from sexual abuse.

1.  EDUCATE YOURSELF

Educating yourself is a preventative measure for you and your child.  This education must be deeper than what you might hear on television.  Read books on the subject, attend seminars, watch documentaries, research statistics and scholarly articles.  One of the most important pieces of education you can have is to understand that most sexual abuse against children is from someone the child knows and trusts.  Educating yourself gives you a basic understanding of how,  when and where your child could be at risk.

2.  EDUCATE YOUR CHILD

Educating your child starts immediately.  The attention span of a child is going to be different at every age and every stage of maturity.  Based on the maturity level of the child, will depend on the type and method of education.  Teaching a child about their body and appropriate touches helps them become familiar in a non-scary or threatening way.  It just becomes part of how you teach them.  There are teachable moments every single day.  When we begin to teach children about their bodies, intimacy and sexuality, we must also be mindful that they will grow to be adults where sexuality is a natural part of being human.  How we teach our children impacts their safety as well as their healthy functioning as they become adults.

3.  EMPOWER YOUR CHILD

Children need to know that they have the power to say “NO” when it comes to their body.   When they need to talk, it is vital they know you will HEAR them and BELIEVE them.  It is imperative they know YOU are not going to become embarrassed or scared of them talking to you.

As a child, it is difficult to know that your parent is uncomfortable with their own body and sexuality.  Children need to know that you are a safe space for them and can handle whatever they bring to you.

There are no guarantees that you can protect your child.  There are no guarantees that your child will never encounter someone who is harmful.  Focusing on what you can do is empowering.  Remember to educate yourself.  Educate your child.  Then, empowering your child so they know what to do in the event they are placed in an uncomfortable situation.

If they are the victim of sexual abuse, it is imperative that they have a loving parent (or other adult) who will help them navigate, process and release the feelings they have about the abuse.  Holding these feelings, feeling guilty or shamed about what has happened to them, dis-empowers them and continues to hurt them throughout adulthood.

3 Ways To Protect Your Child From Sexual Abuse | Raising World Children | Family | Parenting | life lessons | Sexual Abuse | | Protect Kids Online

Tammy Coin is a Mind-Body Wellness Practitioner, Teacher and Speaker. She holds sacred space & helps you locate the unhealed emotions leftover from Childhood Abuse & Trauma that block the door to your authentic self. She then partners with you, using the pieces of her own life, to empower, motivate and inspire you to fully uncover your Soul Purpose. You can find her http://thedoorsofwellness.com

 

 

 

Author: Tammy Coin

Tammy Coin is a Mind-Body Wellness Practitioner, Teacher and Speaker. She holds sacred space & helps you locate the unhealed emotions leftover from Childhood Abuse & Trauma that block the door to your authentic self. She then partners with you, using the pieces of her own life, to empower, motivate and inspire you to fully uncover your Soul Purpose.

16 Replies to “3 Ways to Protect Your Child from Sexual Abuse

  1. So important – no matter how scary – to understand. Thank you for your expertise and for sharing these ways to help our sweet kids. Your work is important!

    1. Hi Kim,
      This is a scary subject and uncomfortable for so many.
      Our littles are incredibly vulnerable. It is my wish that they NEVER experience this situation; however,
      wishes do not protect them. If we help them to understand a subject BEFORE they are faced with it,
      they have a better chance of staying safe.
      Thank you so much for your comment.
      Tammy Coin

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      Absolutely! As a little girl who was incredibly vulnerable and felt unprotected, it gives me GREAT honor
      to write on a topic that highlights an area that parents often do not consider for “their child”. It often
      feels like it is about “someone else”. By educating ourselves and our babies, we have a much better chance
      of protecting them.

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      Tammy Coin

  2. This is so important and so scary to think about as my husband and I are thinking of starting our family. Great points. I am also a big believer in never forcing children to show affection and teaching them agency over their bodies to go along with your point of educating them.

    1. Hi Leigh,
      In the event I don’t hear about your parenting journey, let me send you Congratulations and well wishes now1
      I want to honor you for your conscious decision about teaching your babies before they are here. That’s AMAZING!
      Children need valuable lessons and strength from their parents in order to make the best decisions possible.
      We can’t always be with them, but we can educate them. By doing so, we have one more opportunity to
      keep them safe.

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      Tammy Coin

  3. This is a very well thought out post and I appreciate you bringing up such an important topic! The world is ever changing and we need to know how to teach and protect our children even from the worst of people

    1. Hi Brittany,
      You are very welcome. I wanted to offer what I hoped would be an “insider’s perspective” on this subject.
      As a vulnerable little girl, I learned early that the “worst people” I encountered were the ones I knew, not strangers.
      When teaching our children about sexual abuse, it is important to find creative ways to teach them that does not scare them AND does not scar their adult sexuality. I’m so thankful for parents who make conscious choices.
      It is a continuous learning process.

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      Tammy Coin

  4. It hurts my heart that we have to do this, but I was trained on recognizing signs of abuse. And it’s one of the reasons we use only anatomical words for our body parts — no nicknames. With my son going off to kindergarten next year, I am especially aware that we need to have the FULL conversation, like, soon!

    1. Rachel,
      This subject is certainly not new. It runs rampant in so many families for generations.
      It’s wonderful that people no longer have to live under “secrets”. I spent the first 16 years of
      my life in secrets and I refuse to live that way. It is my strongest desire that by using my voice
      that others begin to educate, empower and protect BEFORE there are signs to recognize.
      I want to honor you for taking the steps to educate yourself and your child. GREAT JOB!

      Thanks so much for you comment,

      Tammy Coin

  5. This is such an important topic. My little is 2 and her father and I often discuss how we are going to approach this. Thank you kindly for sharing.

    1. Hi Jenny,

      Thank you so much for reading. I love that you call her your “little”. I work with adults who
      are healing these childhood wounds and I call the child in them their “little”.

      Truth be told, some of my abuse happened before I was “pre-verbal”. The whole
      thing is hard to handle. As parents it is important that we educate and protect,
      rather than bury our heads.

      I’m not sure there is a BEST answer. We just have to do what we feel is best for our littles.

      What a good mama she has who is THINKING about educating and protecting her!
      Blessings to you!

      Tammy

    1. Diana,

      In my own personal history and the work that I do, this is certainly not a new topic.
      In fact, the problem “may be” less now than before because we are more VOCAL and
      have learned to start using our voices to speak out.

      There was a time when this was just common in families and NOBODY talked
      about it. The shame and stigma around it has kept many, many people silent
      most or all of their lives.

      Thank you for reading!

      Tammy

  6. Wow I love hearing these things from a professional. And I’m glad to hear you recommend educating our children. Sometimes, I’m afraid that our desire to shield them from the ugly things in the world is simply not to their benefit. Thank you for sharing, Tammy.

    1. Madison,

      In my personal opinion, one of the worst things we can do is shield our children from the ugly
      things in the world. Because once they venture out into the world, they need to be equipped
      with the knowledge of how to handle and conduct themselves in the world (that isn’t protected
      by mom or dad).

      On the other side of that is how much is too much. There is such a balance of learning HOW
      to educate our children WITHOUT scaring or scarring them. It’s important that we use our
      opportunity to have “teachable moments” with them all along the way.

      In my opinion, it is important that we prepare them with necessary tools BEFORE they are faced with an adverse situation, without making them afraid to walk out the door. Hope that makes sense.

      Thank you so much for reading!

      Tammhy

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