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In a patriarchal system running in the African society, where everything is controlled by authority figures such as religion, ethics and norms, the female child especially has been patterned into a pleasant, submissive and passive personality. Thishas given room to sexual abuse, which seems to now be a norm in the news.

Every 1 in 6 boys has been sexually abused while 1 in 4 girls has been sexually abused. What should be the first point to note is that, most predators are not violent or threatening as we often imagine. To shock you, most predators are kids themselves and often times not strangers.

Knowledge Is Power

It is therefore very important for you as parents to arm your kids with knowledge that can help them avoid sexual abuse. It is important to talk about body parts to them early in their life, tell them some parts are private and not to be touched or seen by others and therefore, they should know it is important to set body boundaries when they are with friends on playdates and everybody. Help them to exercise their art of saying ‘NO!’, because they might need it someday.

Preventive Behavior

Teach your children how to get out of awkward or uncomfortable situations which might even happen when a family or friend comes over to your house or you are at theirs. You should also have a code word you and your kids share during those situations or to prepare them to defend themselves with such words when they can because you will understand the message they are trying to pass across and this code should not be shared with anyone except with you.

Encourage Openness With You

Most predators threaten their victims not to mention the event to anybody and by so doing, the victim lives in fear of getting into trouble. It is therefore important for you to tell your children that they won’t get into trouble if they tell you anybody secrets, so they can be comfortable to share what you might not know is going on instead of waiting to hear them tell the story much later in their lives when the damage must have been done and the predator gone free.

What To Look Out For

Sometimes sexually abused victims don’t count the experience as an abuse, because they were not violently abused. Tell your children that body touch can tickle and can feel good, they need to get the whole picture of the possibility of abuse, because not every story of sexual abuse is a scary one.

Anyone Can Be An Abuser

Familiarity has contributed to sexual abuse casesmore than any other factor, according to research. You need to tell your children that all you discuss with them about protecting their body is applicable to everyone except you, their parents. Since it is not a ruled out fact that it is possible for parents to touch their children indecently as some stories have revealed, tell them to feel free to tell you anything anyone does to their body just to update you even when it includes applying cream on them.

We can’t stop our children fromhaving playdates or going to the neighbour’s place once in a while, but if we arm them with the right information, a lot of awkwardness can be avoided. It will also not hurt to sign them up for some self-defense classes and where it concerns a female child, teach them to be kind, strong and respectful, not pleasant or passive. The world is not what it used to be.

Share this information with family and friends that have their own kids too till sexual abuse is no longer in existence!