How do I protect my child

Everyday family life in the corona crisis

Even if “sexual abuse” is a challenging topic, prevention work by parents and other important caregivers can have a great effect and can be well integrated into everyday parenting.

An essential part of modern prevention work is to strengthen trust in one's own feelings, as these are a very good warning signal. If it is a matter of course for girls and boys to take their feelings seriously and be aware of them, they will recognize border violations earlier and better assess threatening situations.

Girls and boys who are confident in dealing with their feelings and who can express themselves well are also able to get help better in critical situations and to confide in adults.

If your daughter or son tells you about sexual assault, try to stay calm and convey to your child that it was good to tell them and that you will definitely help them.

Try not to blame your child (e.g. why didn't you tell me earlier?) And convey to your child that they are not responsible for the sexual assault, even if they may feel guilty (e.g. no matter how you react have, nobody is allowed to do something like that).

The responsibility to protect children always rests with us adults.

The best prevention against sexual assault is to create a climate for discussion in which children know that sexual violence can be discussed openly with parents if necessary. A parent-child relationship in which even delicate situations and difficulties can be discussed openly helps children deal with critical situations.

Respecting boundaries

It is important to teach children that they themselves have “limits” that must be accepted by loved ones. For this reason it is important that parents accept a “no” from their child that is appropriate to the situation. Of course, it is not always easy to tell whether a child really does not want something or whether they are trying to push boundaries. Try to be aware of your child's personal limit. If you see that your child does not like receiving kisses from grandma, for example, it is important to respect your child's "no".

In the same way, children should feel that other people also have their limits, which must be respected. For example, if you don't want your child to sit on your lap, say that you don't want them to sit right now. Let your child know that you will always love them, even if you are about to sit alone.

Age-appropriate sex education

Girls and boys are naturally curious and inquisitive. Children should experience that sexuality is not a taboo. Girls and boys who have enough knowledge about sexuality are less likely to be manipulated by perpetrators.