How to prevent child sexual abuse

In this HowTos, our interest is in How to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse. Child sexual abuse exploits and degrades children and can cause serious damage to the cognitive, social, and emotional development of a child. As a society, we have a collective responsibility to prevent child sexual abuse. Numerous events in the country suggest the necessity for prevention, there are cases of Pedophile – old men sexually abusing and molesting little and young girls to satisfy their craving. What better way to stop this menace than to prevent it. We must promote research, training, and public education to strengthen protective factors that buffer risk factors for sexual abuse while also directly addressing those risk factors.

The following steps should be followed diligently by everyone, I mean EVERYONE!

1. Know that silence is not the same as consent

It is always a common norm for men to take the silence of an innocent child for consent. A child is ignorant and knows not what sexual advances mean, neither does he/she knows how to rebuff such. Do not take a child’s silence for consent!

2. Don’t blame rape victims for the violence perpetrated against them

The damage done is enough to deal with for rape victims, reeling blames on them after such gruesome experience is terrible. Help is what they should receive from you. Be the support they need!

3. Teach your children about their sexuality

Educate your young ones about their sexual organs, sex and what sexual abuse really mean. Give them in-depth knowledge about ways to protect themselves both psychologically and physically.

4. Create a safer environment

We can all help to ensure that children are as safe as possible wherever they spend their time

Online: We know that children can be vulnerable to sexual abuse and inappropriate content in the online world. There are tools we can use to keep online spaces safe for children. For parents and carers there are parental controls and for schools and organizations filtering software. What are Parental Controls? Parental controls are software and tools which you can install on phones or tablets, games consoles or laptops – and even your home broadband. You can also use them to help you block or filter the content your child sees when searching online. And family-friendly public WiFi can help when you’re out and about.

Parental controls are also available to help you to:

    • plan what time of day your child can go online and how long for
    • stop them from downloading apps they’re too young for
    • manage the content different members of the family can see.

So whatever your child is doing online, there’s a way that you can help keep them safe.

Physical Environments: Adults can make sure children are kept safe by checking on areas that are infrequently used or left unsupervised such as quiet corridors or outdoor spaces. We can also make sure everywhere is well lit.

Supervised Locations: We must ensure we only allow suitable people to work with children.

At home, this could mean ensuring the babysitter has trusted references. Parents and carers can also ask to see a club’s safeguarding policy and procedures.

Schools and other organizations should follow safer recruitment practices and ensure everyone working or volunteering with children has regular child protection training so they know the signs of sexual abuse.

Unsupervised Locations: We should also think about the wider context of abuse.

Young people are likely to spend time in environments with little or no adult supervision. They may also be in situations where unhealthy behaviors are seen as the norm.

By promoting healthy relationships we can create positive social norms and challenge unhealthy behaviors. We can also support young people to develop the skills and confidence to identify abusive and controlling relationships and to speak out.

5. Help children to speak out

Children need to know what sexual abuse is, that it is never okay, and that it is never their fault.

Adults should know the indicators of abuse and help children to understand that they deserve respect, they can speak out and they will be kept safe.

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