So, I decided to do a little series here about childhood sexual abuse, how to prevent it, how to heal from it or how to be there for someone who experienced the abuse.
These are all my personal thoughts based on my experience and research, I hope it can help!
What can you do to prevent it?
1 Talk about sex and sexuality with your children from the beginning openly. Affirm them that they decide about their bodies and warn them about sex offenders. Talk with them about what is a healthy sexual act/relationship and what is not. The more they are informed and comfortable with talking about the topic it is less likely that they will be abused.
2 Teach them critical thinking, teach them that not all adults should be trusted, most importantly teach them to trust their own judgement and empower them to make their own decisions (that are appropriate to their age)
3 Believe them and listen to them. If they try to tell about an abuse, listen to it, ask more about it. They might try to tell about it in a symbolic/metaphoric way.
4 You can’t predict in any way if someone is a sex offender or not. In many cases the perpetrator is someone who the people around never thought could be an abuser. The perpetrator can be anyone, someone you knew for a long time, someone who acts kindly, or has a respectable career.
5 Look out for signs, there are so many recognizable signs on children who are sexually abused that you can spot. The signs, consequences vary, but here are some: escaping into daydreaming or fantasies, nightmares, the feeling of being insignificant, difficulties to speak about them self, copying the abusive behavior of the perpetrator and acting hurtful, manipulative or sexually abusive to others.
When the abuse is happening the child doesn’t understand it yet, so at this point they can be cheerful most of the time.