I have been hearing a lot of stories in the news lately about children being abused by sexual predators. As a mother, the whole topic of pedophiles and the child sex trade just sickens me… It also makes me very sad and stirs up unpleasant memories from my own childhood. You see, I was sexually abused over and over and over again as a child. It is a pain that I carry and will carry my whole life. It is something that never goes away, but more importantly, it should never have happened!
As I sat and thought about this very important topic, I decided it was time for us, as Mothers, to take a stand and do whatever we can to prevent this from happening to our children!
10 Ways to Help Keep Kids Safe from Sexual Predators
1. Who, What, Where and When. Know who your kids are with at all times. Pay attention to what they are doing on and offline. Know where they are at all times. Pay attention to when they are with people you do not know very well.
2. Talk to your Kids. Start young. Make sure your kids understand that it is NEVER OK for someone to touch them in their private area. Make sure they know that no matter what someone says to them they can tell you ANYTHING. Have an open dialogue with them regularly. Never assume a one time conversation is enough.
3. Be Wary. Just because someone is in your family or a close friend does not mean they should be trusted alone around your kids. It is a proven statistic that most sexual abuse is done by a close friend or family member. Side note: Two of the people who sexually abused me as a child were family members.
4. Always go with your Gut! If you feel uncomfortable, never ever ignore it. It is better to offend someone than to possibly have your child violated. Side note: make sure you allow them to go with their gut as well. If they are uncomfortable around someone, take it seriously. Never force them to hug someone or make them be around someone they are not comfortable with.
5. Pray. I believe that the prayer of Mothers are some of the most powerful on earth. Pray protection over your children and for your own discernment.
6. Buddy System. There is safety in numbers. For example, never let them go to the bathroom alone in a public place. Always make sure they use the buddy system when they are with you and not with you.
7. Have a Code Word. This is a very good way to make sure no one ever tries to pick up your kids using the old “your Mom was in an accident and I was told to pick you up” method. Have a code word, and make sure that your kids know that NO MATTER WHAT, anyone who you send to pick them up WILL know it! Make it unique and difficult to guess. Oh…and make sure they know to keep it a secret.
8. Self Defense Course. As they get older, putting them in some sort of self defense course is a great idea. My teenage daughter has taken two 1 hour self defense courses and learned some great ways to defend herself.
9. Kicking, Screaming and Biting. This is something we have taught our girls. If anyone tries to take them or touch them inappropriately, they are to go postal on them. They should kick, scream, bite, scratch and use any means necessary to escape…
10. If the Unthinkable happens…Make sure that they know they can tell you. Make sure that they understand that no matter what the predator says or threatens, it is a lie and they CAN and SHOULD tell you immediately. It would be sad for it to happen…but better only once then many times over the course of time because nothing was ever said.
The bottom line is that children should understand that no matter who or what the circumstances it is NEVER EVER EVER OK for someone…anyone to touch them in their private areas…or in ANY way that makes them uncomfortable. They should also understand that it is NEVER EVER OK for someone to SHOW them THEIR private parts either.
With all my heart, I hope that these tips help prevent sexual abuse for even just one precious child!
God promises us discernment: Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. – Malachi 3:18
Copyright © Lara Velez, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved