The vast majority of coaches, volunteers, and other professionals are dedicated, caring people who help our children develop their talents and passion for sports and hobbies. However, some individuals who are sexually attracted to children use youth organizations to identify and begin their manipulation of their next victim. In addition, other individuals may not begin with an organization for this reason but then find themselves violating certain boundaries or interactions, with young athletes that leads to sexual misconduct and abuse.
The good news is that we do not have to wait for sexual abuse to start in order to stop it! When parents and children are aware of behaviors that cross boundaries and address or report those concerning interactions they will not be allowed to escalate to sexual abuse.
TIPS FOR PARENTS
- Make yourself an active part of your child’s activities.
- Walk with your child to practice/game/meeting to ensure the environment is not a one-on-one situation and is a situation where your child is comfortable.
- If your child is receiving a one-on-one session, make sure you are present or the interactions are observable to others or can be easily interrupted by another person.
- Teach your child about their private body parts and tell them that no one should be touching them unless the child asks for help. Use the correct words for their private body parts.
- Tell your child that no matter what anyone tells them, secrets are not okay and they should always tell you if someone tries to make them keep a secret.
- Trust your gut. If something does not seem right or makes you uncomfortable, do not dismiss this feeling.
If you have any questions or reasons to suspect child sexual abuse please contact The Child Center, Inc. at 636-332-0545 or you can visit www.TheChildCenter.com for more information. You may also call the Missouri Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline at 1-800-392-3738.
About The Child Center, Inc.
The Child Center, Inc., is a child advocacy center (CAC) serving children and families in Northeast Missouri. A comprehensive, coordinated approach is taken in response to allegations of child sexual and physical abuse occurring in our 14 county service area.
The primary goal of The Child Center, Inc., is to ensure that children disclosing abuse are not further victimized by the intervention systems designed to protect them. Services offered include Forensic Interviews, Child & Family Advocacy, Therapeutic Services, and Prevention Education Programs.
Responding to child abuse through a supportive team approach to reduce the trauma to children & their families. Healing ~ Helping ~ Hope