Parents: We Need to Talk
Your Kids Are Counting on You to Read This!
We’ve got a problem.
Well, it’s more than a problem – it’s an epidemic.
I’m talking about child sexual assault.
I know. It’s difficult to imagine. You probably don’t want to think about it. I understand.
But adults who sexually assault children want us to feel so uncomfortable thinking about it, so we look the other way and pretend that it does not exist. In fact, they’re counting on it!
So, let’s talk about it, so we can prevent it. I know how hard this is. But you are not alone — I will help you.
Child Sexual Assault Is Everywhere
Next time you go to your child’s classroom, sports practice, youth group, or summer camp, take a look around.
1 in 10 of those children have either already been sexually assaulted or will be sexually assaulted by the time they turn 18.
If you have a daughter, she’s even more at risk. 1 in 4 girls are sexually assaulted before they turn 18. And if you have a son, he’s vulnerable, too: 1 in 6 boys will also be assaulted.
It’s heartbreaking. I know. I felt the same pit in my stomach the first time I heard that figure.
But here’s the good news:
It doesn’t have to be this way!
Child Sexual Assault CAN Be Prevented! But How?
I founded Parenting Safe Children to finally end this epidemic of child sexual assault, once and for all.
I believe it can be done.
I know it can be done.
And I know how it’s done: when we commit to surrounding children with adults willing to talk about, and stand up against, child sexual assault!
Then, and only then, can we protect our kids.
This is called “Building Your Prevention Team™,” and it is THE cornerstone of child sexual assault prevention.
But what’s a “Prevention Team™”, you ask?
Simple: your Prevention Team™ consists of all of the caregivers in your child’s life with whom you’ve had a conversation about your child’s body-safety rules (which I teach in my workshops).
Building Your Prevention Team™ has many benefits:
- It helps match your expectations for your child’s safety with those of your caregivers.
- It supports clear communication, and enlists caregivers onto your team, making them feel included and empowered to help protect your child.
- And it subtly lets people know that your child is off limits to child sexual assault.
Often, we teach parents to teach their kids to “just say no,” forgetting that children shouldn’t be responsible for protecting themselves. Kids should be kids! It is up to us, their guardians and caregivers, to protect them however possible.
There is safety in numbers. When you talk with your child’s caregivers, you Build Your Prevention Team™ and make people who assault children think twice about choosing your child.
And you’ll find out how to have these conversations when you attend a Parenting Safe Children workshop.
How Do I Know all of This?
I know, because throughout my three decades in this field, I’ve seen the looks on the faces of parents, educators, and caregivers around the world as they’ve emerged from one of my workshops — which I designed to arm people with the tools needed to protect the children in their lives.
Participants sometimes arrive scared, or ambivalent. Some are quiet; some guarded, fidgeting pens; others, awkwardly looking around.
Four hours later, they emerge: empowered, confident, on top of the world, ready to Build Their Prevention Teams and determined to stand up for their kids and their communities.
They can’t wait to start sharing what they learned with their families, friends, colleagues, and professional caregivers!
And they say as much, too. Here are just a few testimonials from parents and professionals who’ve attended this workshop:
“This is the single most powerful workshop I have ever attended. My family has been forever impacted by this minimal investment in time; it is a must for every parent.”
– Mike, Father, CO
“This is a ‘must do’ workshop for parents of any age children. The information provided is accurate, concise and presented in a way that makes the information immediately useable. I have encouraged all of my clients who have children to attend this beneficial workshop.”
– Carol, Psychologist, CO
“This workshop will change the way you think about children’s safety. Moreover, I’m the mother of a 15-year old, and don’t think for a minute this is a class for parents of young children only. The information is as relevant for the parent of a 5-year old as it is for a 15-year old.”
– Gayle, Parent, FL
“Thanks again for the wonderful and informative presentation. My husband and I have started working some of your ideas into our family life. Tonight, we started played the “favorites” game at dinner. I actually got some info about my daughter’s school day, which was a nice change.”
– Amanda, Mom, CO
“I am learning so much. I can’t wait to begin using “teachable moments” with my girls. So many of these situations have come up, but I didn’t know how to deal with them. I am so glad that I found your site!!!”
– Mom, NJ
Now, I will ask you to reach into your purse, wallet, or photo app – anywhere you keep a picture of a child you care about.
Take a long, close look. And then, ask yourself:
“Am I willing to do anything it takes to prevent this child from being sexually assaulted?”
Fortunately, you don’t need to do that much. You might feel like you never want to let your children leave the house, but you don’t need to do that.
Best of all, you don’t need to try to figure it out alone — I am here to help you!
This is why I created the Parenting Safe Children workshop: to help you protect your children.
You CAN Deter Child Sexual Abusers
For just $54 and 4 hours of your time, you can learn everything you need to know to make people who sexually assault children think twice about targeting your family.
We will go over subjects including:
- Body-safety rules
- Proper caregiver screening
- Children’s age-appropriate sexual behavior vs. concerning behavior
- Truly open and honest communication
- How to invite family and caregivers onto your Prevention Team™
- Spotting signs that someone is grooming a child for abuse
- How to address children or adults’ concerning behavior
- What to do if the unthinkable happens, and your child reveals they’ve been assaulted
- And so much more!
Best of all? You’ll also be empowered to spread this knowledge to other families, so that they can protect their children as well.
Dream with me here: imagine if every parent in your neighborhood had this knowledge and acted on it by having body-safety conversations with all caregivers.
You could very well create an ”off limits” community – as I have seen happen!
And imagine if every parent in the world knew all this. We could even have a world free of child sexual assault.
But it starts with you, protecting the children in your care.
It should never be the child’s responsibility to protect themselves from sexual assault. The first step to keeping your child safe is to “step up” and take responsibility for their safety.
Again, I understand your feelings.
$54 is not an insignificant sum.
It’s hard to find someone to watch the kids for four hours.
And child sexual assault is an uncomfortable subject, one that most people would rather not talk about.
But remember the picture of your child, the one I asked you to look at earlier – are you willing to do anything it takes to keep this child safe?
And just think about how much better you’ll feel afterward: imagine the weight off your shoulders, now that you understand how children are sexually assaulted and what you can do to prevent it.
Seems worth a few hours of discomfort to me!
The Quickest, Easiest, Most Valuable Investment in Your Child’s SafetyWhen compared to the cost and time families endure when children are victims of sexual assault… $54 and four hours isn’t that much to invest in your child’s safety. Tell me… How many dollars have you spent so far, throughout your child’s life, on child sexual assault prevention? Now, tell me how many dollars have you spent on other aspects of your child’s safety? Perhaps it looks something like this:
- Bicycle Helmet: $40
- Baby Monitor: $45
- Stair gate: $50
- Crib railing $50
- Child & Infant CPR Class: $50
- Swimming Lessons: $80 (x 5 = $400)
- Car Seat: $150
- Miscellaneous Safety Elements – knee / elbow pads in sports, cabinet safety locks, electric plug covers: $50
- TOTAL: $915
- Parenting Safe Children Workshop: $54
Four hours is a fair chunk of time to invest. But it pales in comparison to the hundreds of hours it takes to heal and repair your family otherwise.
As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
And I understand this is an uncomfortable subject. But are you willing to be uncomfortable so that your child won’t have to?
Are you willing to invest the time, money, and effort needed to protect your child?
If so, please click one of the buttons below to save your spot in an upcoming workshop.
Workshops are now being presented virtually, and we invite you to attend one of our live, in-person workshops.
If the live workshop dates don’t fit your schedule, you can still sign up for our pre-recorded online workshop.
Finally, if you’d like to be a hero and host a Parenting Safe Children workshop for your community, we can make that happen, too.
1 in 10 children. Remember that.*
Invest in your child’s safety and sign up for a workshop today.
Feather Berkower, LCSW
PS—Still uncomfortable? I don’t blame you. As I mentioned, this is an uncomfortable subject.
And when it comes to uncomfortable and scary things, it’s much easier and much more reassuring to tell ourselves that it can never happen to us, and that those kinds of things always happen to someone else.
The thing is, you are always someone else to someone else.
Regardless of how close you are to your kids, or how much time you spend with them, you can’t be with them 24/7.
So, who’s watching your children when you’re not able to?
Family, close friends, nannies, babysitters people you inherently trust.
People who’d never do something like sexually assault a child. Right?
Unfortunately, this is not really the case.
Over 90% of child sexual assaults are committed by people known and trusted to the child or their parents.
And who do we all know and trust? By definition, they’re our close friends, our family… exactly the type of people we could never imagine doing this.
And what about the older children or teenagers in your child’s life? Something many people are unaware of is that one third to even half of child sexual assault is committed by youth.
Tell me… how would you respond to the following situations?
- Let’s say you have a new adult neighbor who’s taken an interest in you and your child. You can’t put your finger on it, but you have a weird feeling in your gut.
- Or imagine your brother-in-law is visiting, and he seems just a tad preoccupied with your son.
- What if you learn your elementary school child is looking at pornography on a device with their friend?
- Or that your six-year old child is giggling looking at private parts with their friend in the closet?
- What if you found your child and another child with mouths on genitals?
- Or that you see a coach accompanying a child to the bathroom, alone.
- What if you saw a man taking photos of kids at an amusement park, and he didn’t appear connected to any of them?
What would you do? What is the right thing to do in these situations?
If the answer to any of these was “I don’t know,” then you need the knowledge you’ll get from attending a workshop.
And even if you do know, that’s great! But we’re just scratching the surface here. You can learn even more at a workshop.
Don’t delay – sign up for a workshop today, and help protect your kids tomorrow!*
*NOTE: Child sexual assault is so common, that you could do everything right as a parent — establish boundaries and body-safety rules, invite every caregiver onto your Prevention Team™, never keep secrets with your children — and your child could still become a victim of child sexual assault.
I know. It upsets me, too. I wish we could absolutely, 100% protect every single child, guaranteed. But unfortunately, there are times when even our best efforts will fall short.
However, if you follow my instructions and have these important conversations with your caregivers, we CAN promise you this: you will significantly reduce, and even minimize, the risk your child faces from child sexual assault.
It’s like putting your child in that car seat. There is no guarantee it will save their life in a car crash. But it will significantly improve their chance of survival.
And when it comes to our children, anything to improve their odds is worth it.