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Keeping Children Safe

Child sexual abuse relies on secrecy. You can help keep children safe by fostering warm, open relationships with your children so they know that they can talk to you about anything and that you will take them seriously.

To help keep your child safe:

Know how they normally behave so you will notice any change in their behaviour

Know who your child spends time with and be responsible about who you let into your child’s life and who takes care of them

Children need to know that not all adults are safe and trustworthy people. Safe people are the people to go to in an emergency, or if you feel unsafe. Help them to identify the safe adults in their life and practice going to them for help. Teach them that they may need to do this more than once if they don’t get help the first time.

Teach your children the proper names of their body parts so that they have the language to talk about anything that worries them.

Talk to your child about okay touches and inappropriate touches and how this may make them feel. Okay or ‘good’ touches make me feel safe, warm and loved. Inappropriate or ‘bad’ touches make me feel unhappy, scared or yucky.

Teach your child boundaries by showing that their ‘no’ will be respected. For example, if your child does not want to kiss a relative goodbye let them shake their hand instead. Children need to understand that they have ownership of their own body and have some control over how and when they are touched.

Talk with your child about surprises and secrets. Surprises are fun and exciting and get revealed after a short period of time. Secrets make children feel upset or worried and are about things that may get them into trouble. Make sure your child knows that they will not get in trouble for telling you their secrets.

Teach your child the “No! Go, Tell” rule. If your child gets an uncomfortable feeling from someone who asks them to do something they do not want to say “NO! I’m telling” Go- somewhere safe and tell a safe adult

Encourage open communication with your children