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How can I talk to my child about sex abuse?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Kids need to know “just in case scenarios,” and they need to understand what sexual abuse is and how to protect themselves. Though you may fear it will be frightening, studies find most kids embrace information.

The secret is bringing up the topic of sexual abuse to kids in a relaxed way just as you discuss earthquakes, pool safety and using crosswalks. Your ultimate parenting goal is to stress two crucial points to your child:
  • “Tell a trusted adult immediately whenever you feel confused, uncomfortable or unsafe.”
  • “I will believe and protect you no matter who the person is or what the person told you would happen if you broke a promise. I love you no matter what.”
Reports show that kids do not tell about abuse unless they are asked in a way that makes them feel safe enough to tell. You are laying the groundwork to not only prevent abuse but also to get the crucial help a child might need.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.