April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Please join me in countering our culture of silence about child sexual abuse by speaking up and having Courageous Conversations.
Child sexual abuse thrives in a culture of silence and opportunity, and by not speaking up, we leave children vulnerable. In fact, offenders have told me outright that they count on our discomfort and silence. On the contrary, when adults are willing to talk openly with caregivers about child sexual abuse and body-safety rules, opportunity for abuse is minimized.
If we are going to stop child sexual abuse, we must be willing to have Courageous Conversations, day in and day out. Only then can we prevent children from being sexually exploited, usually by someone the child knows and trusts. If adults are uncomfortable talking to caregivers about body safety, how can we possibly expect a child to speak up in a difficult situation? It’s just not fair to ask children to do our work.
A strong child sexual abuse prevention program, like Parenting Safe Children, places responsibility for child safety in the hands of adults. Yes, we need to teach children how to say “No” to unwanted touch, but its only we adults who can transform our culture into one with a zero tolerance for child sexual abuse.
Every day this month, I am posting a Courageous Conversation tip on Facebook. Many of you ask me for language to help you get the conversation started, so I am including sample language as well. Go to Facebook now and please also share my posts with everyone you know so we can build communities – far and wide – that are off limits to child sexual abuse.
Prevention works – and together, we can keep children safe from sexual abuse.