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Sexual abuse is a menace affecting some our girls and it is usually carried out by someone close to the child ( uncle’s, aunties, nanny or minder, sometimes the parent, friends, teachers, domestic workers or a total stranger.
Sexual abuse is an unwanted sexual advances or actions from one person to another. Examples of child abuse are vaginal, oral or anal sex with a minor, touching, caressing or fondling a minor, showing off of private parts to a minor, masturbating in the presence of a minor or teaching them to do same, watching x-rated or porn movies with a minor, sexting a minor.
We can help keep our girl’s from being sexually abused by teaching them early about the parts of their body. My girls and I have our chats on Saturdays after our morning devotion. Choose a time that works for you, when everybody is relaxed and not in a hurry to go anywhere.
1. Tell your girl’s the real names of their body parts and not some nicknames. I.e breast and not some funny names that are out there.
2. Teach them the danger zones( private parts) of their body parts that no one is allowed to touch. The breast, vaginal, mouth, thighs, belly button. Endeavor to ask them every time to name the parts of their body no one is permitted to touch. Even the rest of their body parts. Remind them every time that their body belongs to them and they have the right to say no to a form of touch they find offensive or repulsive.
3. No lingering hugs or unnecessary holding of hands with anyone. Be it, boy or girl. Quick hugs will suffice.
4. Tell not to keep secrets with anyone. And if someone threatens them not to tell anyone, they must always tell you not matter what, because they will always be safe with you.
5. Do not sit on any adults lap for no reason.
6. Adults do not ask children for help. When they do, they usually have ulterior motives, so tell them no.
7. Do not take gifts, food or drink from strangers. If they must, tell them to bring it home and show to you.
8. Do not follow anyone anywhere except your parents tell you to do so.
9. Respect other people’s body too by not touching them unnecessarily.
10. Teach them to always be alert and vigilant of their surrounding.
As soon as your girls understand and can communicate properly, teach them according to their level of understanding and in plain terms how pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases take place. If you don’t, they will learn from their peers in school, and usually, they will be taught the wrong things. So be proactive and teach them how they can be taken advantage of and how if they wait for the right time, sex and pregnancy can be a good thing.
There are ways to recognize the signs of child abuse in your child.
1. Checking their genitals for signs of swelling or bruises, either through a diaper change or while giving them a bath. The key word here is, be very observant, so you can easily detect any physical changes in your child.
2. Changes in ways your child usually behaves. Some very active girls become withdrawn or the quiet ones become more withdrawn and begin to keep to themselves.
3. When your child suddenly becomes very scared or runs away from someone close to the family, that she was once happy to see.
4. Some start to show rude attitudes.
5. Some start to become overly secretive.
6. When you notice your child has new gifts or money that you are not aware of.
Ways to help your child, if she’s been abused sexually:
1. Stay as calm as possible and handle the situation with wisdom (God’s wisdom).
2. Never blame your child or yourself for what happened because it is not your fault or your child’s fault, but the abuser.
3. Get as many details from your child as possible.
4. Take your child for immediate medical attention.
5. Report to the proper authority.
6. Counsel and continue to pray for your child to help them heal properly.
May God continue to help us to raise Godly, confident and fabulous girls.
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