CRISIS CHAT LINE
What is Body Safety?
When we talk to children in age appropriate ways about our bodies, sex, and boundaries, children understand what healthy relationships look like. It also teaches them that they have the right to say “no.” They become less vulnerable to people who would violate their boundaries, and are more likely to tell you if abuse occurs.
1. Name body parts.
2. Teach them that body parts are private.
3. Teach your children body boundaries.
4. Body secrets are not okay.
5. Teach children how to get out of scary or uncomfortable situations.
6. Have a code word children can use when they feel unsafe.
It is highly likely that you know a child who has been or is being abused.
- Experts estimate that 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
- 30% of children are abused by family members.
- As many as 60% are abused by people the family trusts.
- About 35% of victims are 11 years old or younger.
- Nearly 40% are abused by older or larger children.
According to the US Department of Justice only 10% of perpetrators were strangers to the child and 23% of the perpetrators were children themselves!
RECOGNIZING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
- Pain or bleeding during urination/bowel movements; involuntary urination/defecation
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Torn, bloody, or stained underwear
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Pain, itching, or burning in genital area
- Sexually Transmitted Infection(s)
- Change in a child’s feelings, awareness, and behavior regarding sexuality
- Sudden knowledge about sex
- The child may pretend or “act out” having sex or may engage in sexual behavior with other children
- Strong reactions to physical contact
- Decline in school performance; Disciplinary problems and avoiding assignments
- Withdrawal or poor social functioning
- Changes in hygiene – refuses to bathe or bathes excessively
- Regressive behaviors
- Changes in sleeping; nightmares
Feelings of worry, fear, guilt, shame, poor self-esteem, sensitivity, nervousness, irritability, anger, depression, fatigue, muscle pain.