Talking about sex education and sexual abuse is not easy, even more so in some cultures where taboos about these topics remain in place. However, talking about sex education is necessary because it allows providing protection tools to children and adolescents to prevent abuse. Likewise, in the event that a sexual assault has already taken place, testing for child abuse can help stop this scourge.
In order to have this type of conversation about sexuality with children, it is important to keep the following recommendations in mind:
– Do it from an early age.
– Call the parts of the body by their names.
– Indicate to the child that there are parts of the body that no one should touch.
– Make it clear to the child that they can always say NO.
– Avoid laughing at the child’s questions.
– Avoid being embarrassed about the topics discussed.
– If you are unfamiliar with a topic, do some research.
– If you are unable to talk to your children, seek help.
Many victims of sexual abuse fall prey to manipulation by their perpetrators because they have no knowledge of sex education and therefore lack the tools to protect themselves from this type of aggression. As uncomfortable as these conversations may seem, they are necessary to have in order to stop sex offenders who hide behind the silence of their victims and their families.
12 questions to detect child abuse
Most victims of sexual abuse remain silent about what they are suffering; however, many of them begin to show warning signs such as changes in their behavior and conduct, changes in their eating and sleeping habits, sexualized behavior, and isolation, among others.
If you suspect that a child in your close environment is being sexually abused, do not hesitate to ask them directly. Pay attention to the following questions that can be very useful to detect a possible case of sexual abuse and protect children and adolescents.
– Do you have a problem that makes you feel bad?
– Can you tell me what happened?
– Has anyone touched you in a way that made you feel uncomfortable or that you didn’t like?
– Who is this person?
– How did it start? What happened next?
– What part of their body did they touch yours with (hands, mouth, penis)?
– Where did they put their hands, fingers, mouth, penis?
– Did they use anything else to touch your body?
– Did you have clothes on?
– Did they have clothes on?
– Did they show you books, pictures, magazines, drawings?
– What did they tell you they were doing with you?
Additionally, it is essential that the child is clear that he/she can trust the person asking the questions and that they will believe anything he/she says. If disbelief is shown about what the child says or if they are blamed for something that happened, it is very likely that they will prefer to remain silent.
You may also be interested in: Signs that a child is suffering sexual abuse.
Your support is decisive
In the #YoDigoNoMas Movement, we know that the first step to heal the wounds of sexual abuse is to break the silence. While it is not advisable to pressure a survivor of sexual abuse to share their story without being ready to do so, if you are suspicious, you can help them talk to that person who may not know how to externalize what happened to them and what they are feeling.
Don’t forget that the support a survivor of sexual abuse receives is crucial to overcome this painful experience. On our website, you can find valuable tools to provide support to those people around you who are suffering in silence. Learn more about our Movement and join our cause.