Protecting Your Child As A Survivor Of Abuse
There is a common misconception that children born to parents who are survivors of abuse are more likely to be abused at home. However, a study has shown that adults who were abused as children are no more likely to physically abuse their own kids than other adults their age. The research has also shown that while parents who had a traumatic childhood aren’t more likely to hurt their own children, their offspring report experiencing sexual abuse at the hands of others. To protect your child from becoming a victim, it is important to examine your behavior and teach them skills to prevent abuse. Here’s how you can protect your child to end the cycle of abuse.
Teach them grooming prevention strategies
Some teenagers know how to turn down sexual advances in person and online, but others may not be aware of how adults can act to earn their trust. Studies have found that 11 percent of teens have experienced unwanted solicitations online, and even young children aren’t safe, and can become targets of perpetrators through games such as Roblox or Minecraft. To keep your child safe in the real world and on the web, discuss grooming prevention strategies with them. As early as three years old, kids should be taught about body safety, appropriate touch, and consent. They should also know how to say no, and to report grooming behaviors, such as adults encouraging them to keep secrets from their parents and using sexual language when talking to them. Parents should also remind their kids to let them know about any unsolicited gifts that they get, or spending alone time with adults who aren’t their caregivers.
Let them know that it’s okay to leave
Some kids are uncomfortable about saying no, especially to adults or authority figures. Let your child know that it’s okay to leave if they’re uncomfortable or scared. If your child thinks that something wrong is about to happen, they can excuse themselves or say that they’re going to the bathroom. Instruct your child to call you if they feel like they’re in danger, and it may be a good idea to give the numbers of other trusted adults who can help them just in case they need to get out of a scary situation as soon as possible.
Tell them that it’s okay to talk to you
Some survivors of abuse shy away from talking about abuse prevention, as it may trigger past traumas. However, your child needs to know that it’s okay to talk you about things that make them feel uncomfortable. Encourage open communication, and let them know that they won’t get in trouble if they talk to you about their worries about the people that are around them, or the people who they’re talking to online.
End the cycle of abuse by teaching your child about strategies to prevent them from occurring. Keep communication lines open between you and your child, and always be there for them to keep them safe as they grow.