We must educate our children so they know to tell, and keep on telling until they are believed.
As a parent and an educator I find the statistics below both confronting and horrifying. However, they do highlight the reasons WHY we need to teach the children in our care Body Safety from the earliest of years.
Such age-appropriate knowledge is empowering for children, and might well be the difference between a child becoming one of these statistics or not.
I am not a survivor of childhood sexual abuse but I am a mother and teacher who believes we can do better by our kids. We need to put our adult fear of this topic aside, and take on the responsibility of educating our children so they know to tell, and keep on telling until they are believed. We also have a responsibility to educate ourselves so we know the signs of sexual abuse and grooming. Believing a child when they disclose sexual abuse is of the utmost importance, as is our reaction to the disclosure.
These statistics are a call to action for parents, carers and teachers everywhere — let’s educate ourselves and our kids in Body Safety, and like any good “ripple effect,” let’s educate others to do the same! I am asking you to play your part. Ironically, you may never know but your advocacy could positively change a child’s life forever.
1. Approximately 20 percent of girls (1 in 5) and 8 percent of boys (1 in 12.5) will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday (Pereda et al, 2009).
2. 95 percent of sexually abused children will be abused by someone they know and trust (NAPCAN 2009).
– Jayneen Sanders
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