At The Child Advocacy Center of Lapeer County, we’re excited to kick off April as it’s Child Abuse Prevention Month! During this time, families and communities recognize the importance of working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. With 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 8 boys experiencing sexual abuse before their 18th birthday, and with 90% of children knowing their perpetrator, there’s work still to do to fight against abuse and keep children safe.
In our efforts in fighting against child abuse, The Child Advocacy Center of Lapeer County spreads awareness through outreach and prevention education throughout Lapeer County. One of our prevention strategies include educating children about body safety.
The following are taught to help keep children safe and prevent abuse by teaching boundaries, essential body safety skills, and assertive communication:
- Use Proper Names of Body Parts– At an early age, start going over body parts, including private parts and their proper names. This way, if a child experiences inappropriate or unsafe contact, they can clearly state to you or another trusted adult where they have been touched. It’s also helpful to explain to children what their “private” parts are, and that their private parts aren’t for everyone to see or touch. In addition, talk with your children about safe and unsafe touches and discuss examples. Explain to your children that no one should touch their private parts, and no one should ask them to touch somebody else’s private parts.
- Secrets– Perpetrators of abuse will often tell children to keep the abuse a secret. Therefore, it’s important to tell children that no matter what anyone tells them, body secrets are never okay. Let your children know that they should always tell you if someone makes them keep a body secret.
- “No, Go, Tell”– Teach children an easy way to remember what to do in an uncomfortable situation with the “No, Go, Tell” method.
1. No – Say “no” or “stop” loudly so the person can hear you.
2. Go – Run away from the person and find a safe adult nearby.
3. Tell – Tell the safe adult what happened, so they can help keep you safe.
If you need help to talk with your children about body safety, please visit our website for the Gator Goodfellow and Gator Goodheart coloring book to use as a resource!