Discussing sexual assault with your kids; advice for parents

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) –

Talking to your children about sexual assault, it’s something child advocates say you need to be doing as headlines on social media, online, and on TV are shining a spotlight on sexual assault.

“All kids are hearing things if they’re out in the world on any social media, they’re hearing about the things that’s happening in the media,” said Director of Community Programs for Dee Norton Center Rachael Garrett.

With the topic of sexual assault raising nation-wide discussion, Garrett said it should also raise one with your kids.

“Some parents have just started hearing questions from their kids,” Garrett said.”The TV is on in the living room and suddenly you hear from the living room,’What does that mean? Why did they get fired?’ Kids listen and it’s a good idea for parents to be prepared with a response.”

A response for not only your older children, but also your younger ones.

“I think the best thing is to take that opportunity to answer the question and engage in that conversation with your child,” Garrett said. “It’s never too soon to talk to your kids about body safety, private parts, and who to tell if it ever does happen. Because we can give them the tools that they need to know what is right and wrong and be able to say no but unfortunately it still happens sometimes.”

Sexual assault is not only happening to adults in the work place, but also children in our community.

“Kids may have heard about adults being sexually assaulted or children,” Garrett said.”Either way it’s a great opportunity to talk with their kids about what it means to be safe as your job as a parent to protect them. That means if something bad does happen to them or someone does break the touching rules with them to come and tell you as a parent.”

If a child does come to you, the most important thing you can do is believe them and acknowledge what they say. Garrett advises you to tell them you are proud of them and remain calm and let them know you will help keep them safe. You can call the Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center to take further steps.

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