Even talking about child molestation is an unpleasant subject for parents. But avoiding the topic won’t make it go away. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau report, Child Maltreatment 2010, found that 9.2% of victimized children were sexually assaulted. Knowing how under-reported this crime is, I would presume that the actual figure is a lot higher. If you worry about keeping your kids safe from pedophiles, read on for useful tips.
Preventative Steps For Protecting Children From Pedophiles
There are basic things you can do to lower the chances that your child will ever fall victim to a pedophile. These range from making sure your child is not alone in the presence of people you don’t know well and trust to making sure your kids know they can talk to you about anything. Never doubt their word. Never put them in a situation in which they have expressed discomfort.
Awareness of The Problem
Studies have shown time after time that a higher proportion of this heinous crime is carried out by someone known to the child and family. Meaning that there is usually an element of trust but this trust is breached by the perpetrator of this crime.
Parents tend to be more protective and vigilant with their female kids but as we have all found out, no gender is safe from being molested, remember the catholic priests scandal that almost took down the Catholic Church.
I get to interact with kids and their parents in the course of my work and make it a point of advising every child age three upwards not to allow anybody pull their pants down or skirts up without their parents being there. That way a child learns early that this act is not okay. Often times a familial pedophile would ease in with a little peek-a-boo game over time to get the child comfortable with the molestation act.
Minimize the Opportunity For Anyone To Have Alone Time With Your Child
Trust your guts and follow your intuition. If you don’t feel safe around someone, your child should not be with them. Don’t allow sleepovers until you have met the parents and siblings.
Keep the door open when your child has a one on one lesson with an adult.
Be Vigilant and Informed
If your state maintains one, do an online search for registered sex offenders within a 5 mile radius of your home address. You should not live in fear or hostility but simply being aware allows you to take the blinders off and be more vigilant.
Teach Your Child To Stay In Pairs or Groups
If your child walks to school, try to see that he or she walks to school in a group with friends. A child alone is an easy target. Always travel in pairs and stay in public places.
Self Defense Instruction
Have your child take martial art or self defense classes. Enrollment can start at age 4 in some centers. Kids are taught how to fight off an abductor with a healthy infusion of discipline and self control.
These five tips are an excellent place to start in keeping your kids safe from pedophiles. Maintaining open lines of communication with children even on the subject of sexual abuse is also important to keeping kids safe from pedophiles. Kids need to know it is safe to tell you anything and that you will support them and value their feelings.
Guest post by Dr. Bola who is a board certified family physician and co-founder of Healthgist, a community of women who make their health a priority. Sign up for Healthgist to receive the free report 5 Health Questions Every Woman Should Ask Her Mother. Because what you don’t know could harm your health.
Side Note From The Editor: (Personal Story)
If you are wondering how valuable the fifth tip really is, I’d say it is likely more valuable that you think. Learning self confidence and a spirit to fight back and protect yourself, in my opinion, is likely more valuable than being a strong fighter.
When I was nine years old, I as sexually attacked in broad daylight in the middle of the street. It was a small town where “those types of things don’t happen.” But they did happen. I was walking back from a friend’s house a few blocks away when I saw a man by himself. I sped up and he sped up. Immediately, I trusted my gut and I knew he was after me so I tried to run. Not surprisingly, he ran faster but when he caught me I was able to fight back and slip free. I turned and yelled at him as loud as I could that he had better not @#&*% touch me.
I am sure my fighting and screaming was most effective because he didn’t expect it. Certainly it was not my size or strength. He ran away and then I did too.
My mother had previously read me an article on the subject of child molestation and instructed me to talk to her if anyone ever made me feel uncomfortable. I was able to talk to her about it because she had already made me feel safe.
The police found the man and he confessed. I hope that sharing these tips and preventative measures help you open the lines of communication with your child and help you take precautions to keep your kids safe from pedophiles.