6 Tools to Help Protect Children from Sexual Abuse

I was sent an article recently, written by Stacey Steinburg from Huffington Post, the article was simply entitled:

6 Tools to Help Protect Children from Sexual Abuse

Here are the six steps she outlined in the article

Accept that sexual abuse is prevalent. 1 in 662,000 children will become an Olympic athlete. 1 in 2,872 children will become a doctor. 1 out of every 4 girls and 1 out of every 6 (world wide statistics say it is more like 1 in 2) boys will be sexually abused. Put down the STEM kit and stop obsessing about finding the perfect pair of running shoes. Realize that the best thing you can do to help your child succeed is prioritize his or her safety.

Know that in about 93 percent of sexual abuse cases, the child knows the abuser. Stranger is not the real danger. The abuser is typically a family member, a babysitter, a coach, or a teacher. Although most of the abuse is done by men, females also sexually abuse. This is typically where parents get scared. “Who can I trust?” It’s important to evaluate everyone in your child’s life.

Name the body parts. Butt, vagina, vulva, penis. Using cute names tells children that those areas are funny and that you, as the parent, are uncomfortable talking about those parts of their body…When we give a child proper vocabulary, we give her (him) tools to get help when she needs it.

Teach body awareness. When a child cries over a cut on his (her) finger don’t say, “You are fine, don’t worry about it.” If we minimize his feelings, we teach the child that we know his body better than he does.

Talk about body safety. When you are tickling your child and she (he) says “stop,” stop. She (He) might obviously want you to continue. She (He) might even scoot her (his) body over towards you. Say, “stop means stop. And no means no. When you are ready for me to tickle again, just ask.” Allow her (him) to ask before continuing the tickling. This teaches a child that she is in control of her body.

(I added the alternate gender where appropriate, most commentators in this area, are blinded by cultural sexual biases and yes I am dogmatic on this point. I was sexually abused by both parents and by both genders. I have daughters and a son. It is VERY important to ensure they all are taught this  – TA)

The last tip is a big one for us. Remove the word “secret” from your child’s vocabulary. A secret is something that is kept hidden forever. A surprise is a gift or event, which is revealed at a certain time. It is always eventually told. Use words like hidden, mystery, private, surprise, confidential, or super agent (instead of secret agent). There are no “good secrets” or “bad secrets.” Tell your children that families can have surprises, but no secrets.

( I though this was a tremendous point – TA)

Great article. You can read the rest of it here:


  • Debra Van Buren
    July 21, 2015 at 5:04 am

    The prevalence of child sexual abuse in our society must not be taken lightly, and implementing necessary measures to stop such abuse ought to be commonplace. Necessary tools and/or guidelines have been identified to aid in sexual abuse prevention. I especially like the notion of prioritizing the safety of children. Children are vulnerable, and easily subject to incidents of abuse, particularly with someone they know. Parents need to evaluate everyone in their child’s life. The consequences of sexual abuse are most devastating emotionally, and such incidents frequently produce severe difficulties coping. Victims of child sexual abuse often times end up in therapy, in an attempt to resolve associated problems. Such treatment may last for an extended period of time, due to the intensity and nature of abuse. Prevention is always the best answer.

  • Tim Lennon
    July 24, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    It is important that a parent/guardian believe the child.
    Report any reasonable suspicion of abuse to the police.

  • Elsa
    July 26, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Sorry, but none of the above is helpful at all.

    • theAuthor
      July 26, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Elsa you said this on LinkedIn. So obviously you have an unstated agenda..are you planning to go to all 250 sites this article was posted and say the same non helpful, critical thing? Or is there a point to your ceaseless negativity?

      if you have some great insight? if you have a list of tried and true preventative measures to stop our children getting abused…please share it with the rest of us…I will be the first to scream it from the housetops.

      but if not, then please, remove yourself from the debate, the rest of us are just trying to prevent what was done to us, being done to those we love.


  • Stacey
    August 11, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    This is my article and you posted it without my consent.

  • Stacey
    August 11, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Sorry, I see my name at the top now. I was very confused by the post. Thank you for sharing it.

    • theAuthor
      August 11, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Hey Stacey – sorry for the confusion, I always give credit and I always try and drive people to others work. I thought his was a tremendous article your wrote and I hope you have received a lot of traffic to your site. We have pushed your article out as much as we can through Twitter an Pinterest as well as G+ and FB. Thanks for all you do. TA

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