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It is imperative that parents teach their kids some rules that can ensure that they remain safe from sexual abuse – either by a stranger or by someone they know.
With an increase in child abuse cases, it is very important to understand some basic safety rules to make sure that our children are safe. If we follow these safety rules, we can decrease the chances of getting them facing such ugly experiences.
Children till a certain age, should not be left alone. Don’t allow them to go to the public washroom in a mall, movie theater or any other place outside, alone. Follow them physically or with your eyes, to ensure that they’re safe. If they attend home-tuition, they should not be left alone in a room with the teacher. Always keep your eye on them.
Teaching kids about good touch / bad touch has already saved many children from child abuse. I remember reading in the news about a driver who took a young child to the roof and tried to molest her while bringing her back from a class. As the child was aware of good touch / bad touch, she screamed, and people gathered and handed him over to the police.
It is never too early to teach your child some basic safety rules.
It is very important to draw a safety circle for your child, especially when they are too small to understand whom to trust and whom not to trust. You can draw a safety circle explaining who all are to be trusted. It may include mom, dad, grandparents, elder sibling, teacher and even nanny.
This makes the message clear.
Now imagine – if the child is in a park and a neighbor uncle offers a chocolate, your child knows that uncle is not in the safety circle, but mom/granny/nanny are in safety circle. If a safety circle member allows, only then they can accept the chocolate. Otherwise, the answer has to be “no, thanks”.
Any child who has the habit of keeping secrets from parents, can put themselves into an unsafe situation. Molestation by known people starts with keeping secrets.
Children should be discouraged to keep secrets, and encouraged to talk about their day and what happens in their vicinity to a trusted person, usually a parent who keeps communication open. You must teach them that if they are keeping secrets, they are increasing the probability of being unsafe.
Many times children face some ugly experiences, which they just don’t like to talk about. It can be a bad touch by anybody pretending to touch by mistake. This is generally ignored by the child as they don’t want to even think about such ugly experiences.
Teach them not to hide anything however ugly it may be. You are their mentor and you can guide them about what to ignore and what not to. You can also give tips on how to handle such situations in future.
This is very important as cases of child abuse are increasing in schools and school transports. If you find that the school has not taken all preventive measures to avoid such incidents, please talk to school authorities and put pressure to take necessary action.
We cannot go with our child everywhere, but by teaching them basic safety rules, we can avoid abuse and keep them safe.
Image source: shutterstock
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