How To Talk To Children About Sexual Assault
A lot of parents struggle with talking to their children about topics related to sex, especially when it comes to sexual assault and abuse. Many parents don’t have the kind of information they want to convey to their kids, or some think that what their kids learn in school should be enough. No parent wants to consider their child being attacked. But as scary as it is, not talking about these things with your children can lead to much scarier results.
So why should parents talk to children about this?
Because if you don’t talk to them about it, who will?
- Media stereotypes about relationships, sexuality, and sexual practices can often be harmful. Children often do not understand that the media does not accurately reflect reality. As a parent, it is important that you offer a more balanced view of the world to help protect your child from false expectations that may come from the media.
It decreases the likelihood of your child engaging in sexually risky behaviors.
- Research has shown that parents regularly talking about sexual pressure, unhealthy relationships, using protection, and sexual self-esteem with their children can influence their children to make healthier sexual decisions.
It increases self-esteem and builds relationships.
- Not every conversation has to be about sexual assault. Other topics to discuss with your child include gender stereotypes, internet safety, effective communication, and setting boundaries with a relationship partner.
It can help you discover a problem.
- As horrible as it is to think about, child sexual assault does happen. Regularly talking to your kids may encourage them to tell them about any abuse they or a friend may have suffered.
Signs of Child Abuse
If you suspect your child has been sexually abused, or if your child discloses that he or she has been sexually abused, please contact our office or call our 24-hour crisis hotline at (803)771-7273. We have trained staff willing to put you in touch with the proper authorities and walk you through your options after disclosure.