Sexual abuse is very common now a days. Sexual abuse of children is called paedophilia. Teaching the children of good and bad touch is a must. Tell tale signs of sexual abuse should be identified so that children can be counseled. Here are some tips to prepare your child against sexual abuse.
Did you know that one in three girls in the world is sexually abused before reaching the age of eighteen, and one in four before the age of fourteen? In the case of boys, one in six is sexually abused before the age of sixteen. Quite shocking, to say the least.
According to sociologist David Finkelhor, who has conducted a massive study on child sexual abuse in over 19 countries besides the United States and Canada, sex abuse percentages in most countries are comparable with North American research figures. The overall percentages range from 7% to 36% for girls and 3% to 29% for boys. Most of these studies found females to be abused at 1.5 to 3 times more than boys. We can clearly see that sexual abuse is an international problem and not restricted to just a few countries in the world.
In fact, after countries like Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand, countries like Nepal, India and Cambodia are facing an increasing number of paedophiles. A research carried out by Sakshi, a New Delhi-based non-governmental organization, says that 80% of Indian girls and women, belonging to all social classes, experience sexual abuse in their own families and friend circle. Majority of them prefer to remain silent.
According to the State of Child Rights in India, incidences of child abuse are definitely on the rise especially since the nineties.
It is quite shocking to know that
- 66% sexual offenders know their victims.
- 32% paedophiles have abused their own children.
- 49% paedophiles are attracted to unstable children.
WHAT EXACTLY IS CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE?
Child sexual abuse is any sexual contact between a child and another person (from fondling to rape) with or without force. People who prefer sexual activity with a child are known as 'paedophiles'.
It is important to remember that such offenders are completely 'responsible' and guilty in the abuse, even if they have taken the consent of the minor child. The consent of a child is not considered to be any consent at all.
It is imperative to note that family members or close neighbours or frustrated fellow mates can manipulate children. Little wonder that one out of every six abusers is a child. They can be homosexual or even heterosexual. Paedophiles are usually male and could come from almost any socio-economic background.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CHILD
- Never scare a child about sexual abuse
Panic will beget panic. Your child may get overcautious about people. This will also affect the child's everyday vigour and spontaneity, which is the ultimate source of joy in a parent's life. But of course, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, teach him or her the ground rules without injecting fear.
- Teach your children the names of the different parts of the body
Take this step further by specifying the private parts. Tell the child that Take this step further by specifying the private parts. Tell the child that these parts should not be touched by anyone, not even close friends.
- Your behaviour with your spouse can be a role model for the children
Therefore, until your children understand the importance of a healthy sexual relationship, do not display overt affection to your partner in front of the children. If the children ever touch your private parts, which most children playfully do in their very early years, be firm and tell them not to ever repeat it. A correct message should be conveyed with regard to the private parts.
- Tell them that they should immediately report to you
if anyone (even if the person is a very close relative) tries to touch them in any odd place, especially if that person specifically asks them not to tell the parents.
- Teach them not to talk to or to take anything from strangers
Certainly not to give out their name, address and telephone number to anyone. But do emphasize the importance of being polite without divulging extra information.
- Be a good listener
Your children must be sure of a patient hearing without any embarrassing remarks. Make sure that you share a completely open and friendly relationship with your children. Devote some time everyday to listening to your children's experiences in school and after-school hours.
- Encourage your children to invite friends at home
Watch them discreetly from a distance so that you are aware of their peer group. If you sense something unhealthy, bring it to their notice. For instance, if a your daughter is visibly falling on her boyfriend at a party, take her aside later and just tell her that such things never go unnoticed. However, do not make a big issue out of it.
- Last but not the least; be vigilant for any signs of sexual abuse
Sudden shifts in temperament, mood withdrawals, nightmares, bedwetting, bruising or swelling of genitals, fear of a certain individual, loss of interest in academic and social activities are all good indicators of sexual abuse.
Parents are very particular about disciplining and teaching
good manners to kids. However, issues like sexual abuse in kids are usually
overlooked. Many parents hesitate to speak to children about such topic which
is incorrect. All parents should take such topic seriously and make kids aware
of sexual abuse to protect them from threats.