90% of child abuse is by someone the child likes, loves, or lives with, that’s why it’s important to be aware during this time of school closings and additional time at home or with other caregivers.
It’s hard to think about another heavy topic when there’s already so much chaos. We hope to provide information and tools so you can feel empowered and confident about your child’s safety during schedule changes.
Ways to prevent and educate:
1. Listen to your child. If they are repeatedly upset, uncomfortable, or begging not to be with someone, pay attention. It’s natural for a child to be upset when a loved one leaves them, but take note if it seems more extreme than usual or directed at a certain person or place.
2. Be intentional with frequent conversations on body safety. If you’re not sure how to handle that discussion, take a look at our prevention page for resources and tips.
3. Don’t be afraid to educate caregivers about your expectations and perspective on body safety, privacy, and body autonomy.
You can say things like:
“We give our child power over their body, so if she doesn’t want to be tickled, we stop immediately.”
“He never has to hug or touch someone he doesn’t want to.”
“We don’t keep secrets – surprises like a gift or party are different.”
4. Be aware of extra time spent online. Perpetrators know kids will be online more over breaks. Make sure social media accounts are set to “private”. Find more information on apps, screen time, and other online safety tips here.
5. Create time for conversations or “check-ins”. This is important any time but especially during times of extra stress or changes in routine. Find some ideas to start those conversations here.
If you suspect an instance of abuse or are looking for resources and education, give us a call.