Resources for Parents
How do I protect someone I know?
Just like we pay attention to notice signs and symptoms in our children and loved ones to prevent abuse, we should also be able to pick up cues and signs from people around us so we can notice and prevent abuse from happening.
Identifying the Grooming Process
Grooming is a word used to describe how people who want to sexually harm children and young people get close to them, and often their families, and gain their trust. They do this in all kinds of places - in the home or local neighbourhood and also the child's school . If we do see certain people getting too close, forming quick relationships, and trying to spend time alone, these may be the first signs of grooming the child.
Looking for the approachable child
Abusers tend to look for children who they can easily manipulate, they will identify children with extra emotional needs, therefore it's important to be aware and provide the safety and protection the child needs.
Forming a relationship with the child
During this step, the abuser tries to get closer to the child by offering gifts, trying to play and frequently spend time with the child.
Touching the child and breaking their resistance to touch
First the abuser will give friendly hugs, touch the child in a nonsexual way, and slowly proceed to sexual touch. The children are often confused when the touch becomes sexual, however the abuser will tell them it's okay.
Looks for ways to meet the child alone
Abusers will find all means and excuses to stay alone with the child and spend time with them
Making the child feel responsible and making them keep a secret
After the abuse starts, the child will be made responsible for what is happening and will make sure the child does not say anything to anyone.
2. Teaching children boundaries , giving them appropriate knowledge on sex and their bodies.
It is important to teach children correct terms, private body parts and how important it is to keep boundaries. It is very important for the children to understand these concepts as they begin school, spend time alone, and reach other developmental milestones.
These can be somewhat difficult conversations to have, however must be done as soon as they are age appropriate.
Encourage children to speak, and keep open lines for communication
Make sure the child feels safe enough to come speak to us, be involved in their day and assure them they are open to discussions that might concern them. Avoid turning them away when they come to speak about important or sensitive matters
Develop a safety plan for family and children
Make sure the child knows who they can immediately go and speak to in case they feel threatened. Safety plans can even have code words that the child may use to communicate to you.