9 Tips To Keep Your Children Safe From Sexual Predators

22

It has been an year since the horrific rape of a 6-year-old girl at Vibgyor High School in Bangalore. More incidents have been reported in the country since then. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 12,363 cases of alleged child rape were reported in 2013, compared with 8,541 in 2012, a whopping increase of 45 percent! Horrifying isn’t it?

It is traumatic for anyone to know these statistics. But reality is what it is. In spite of having strong laws against child molestation in our country, there are many children who fall prey to sexual abuse. The above statistics are only about the cases which have been reported, there are many children who suffer silently.

How safe are your children? Is there something you can do to protect them?

Here are few tips for you to protect your child from potential sexual abuse.

1. Educate Your Child About Sexual Abuse In Age-Appropriate Terms 

9-Tips-To-Keep-Your-Children-Safe-From-Sexual-Predators_Parent_Talking_To_Child

Paren Talking To Child

Talk openly to your child about sexuality; let children understand that they can talk to you when they have questions or concerns. Teach children about their body parts and talk to them about people who can take advantage of them.

Tell  them about ‘good touching’ and ‘bad touching.’ Talk to them about sexuality and abuse in casual conversations rather than having a one-time talk only.

2. Teach Them To Say ‘No’

9-tips-for-parents-to-keep-their-children-safe-teach-children-to-say-no

Teach Children To Say No

Children should be told that, if someone tries to touch them in ways that make them uncomfortable, they should say ‘No’ to them and immediately do their best to get away from them and seek a responsible adult. It’s okay if it is not polite. Your child’s safety is paramount, not the feelings of an older person who is most likey triying to take advantage of your child. Similarly, they do not have to be quiet if they do not like how a person makes them feel. And children do know which situations they do like and do not like. Make your child feel stronger by teaching them self-protection and by creating awareness about other ways to handle such situations.

 

3. Be Available – Ask Them To Inform You Immediately If Someone Bothers Them 

9-Tips-To-Keep-Your-Children-Safe-From-Sexual-Predators_Children_Protecting_Themselves

Children Protecting Themselves

Always be there for your children and spend time with them. Tell them to immediately inform you if someone tries to approach them in a manner that seems dangerous. Do not ignore your child’s complaints with regard to situations like these, immediately act on them. There’s a chance that some complaints might be unfounded, but that is a chance you have to take. The worst thing you can do is let your child think that you do not care or are not bothered. Let your child know that you will always support him/her and that the child can rely on you for help.

9-Tips-To-Keep-Your-Children-Safe-From-Sexual-Predators_Stranger_Danger

Stranger_Danger

4. Make Them Aware Of ‘Stranger Danger’

Talk to your child about people who can take advantage of them. Help your children to be more aware of their personal safety, by letting them know simple safety tips like always staying in a group, ignoring strangers and people who try to offer them gifts, sweets etc. Ask your child to always keep you informed about where they are going after their school (to play, friend’s home etc) and be aware of where they are at all times. If you find people lurking around areas where children are playing or present, report their presence to the nearest police station or better still confront them yourself.

IMPORTANT NOTE – One must be wary of strangers. But even more important, with regards to children, one must also be wary of all the close adults in their life. As depressing as this statistic is, a lot of child abuse cases are perpetrated by adults who know the children well and have easy access to them. It might be a family friend, a family member or even an adult who teaches the child. When the abuse is perpetrated by someone close to the child and the child lets you know about, it is your duty as a parent or a guardian to confront the person and take necessary action. You owe it to the child in your care.

9-Tips-To-Keep-Your-Children-Safe-From-Sexual-Predators_Lonely_Child

Lonely Child

5. Know Your Child’s Life

Be involved in your children’s lives and spend time with them whenever possible. Be friendly with your children and get to know from them about the people they meet at school and spend time with. Be interested in your child’s activities and know the trusted adults in your child’s life other than you. Children whose parents are neglectful tend to be more vulnerable to predators.

6. Do Background Checks On Your Child’s School 

Before you choose a school for your child, do background checks on the school and make sure that the school does not have any previous records of child abuse or any other crimes concerning the safety of children. Later on, you can visit the school and give your suggestions to improve the safety

9-Tips-To-Keep-Your-Children-Safe-From-Sexual-Predators_Background_Check

Background Check

standards of the school. Find out how they vet their own employees and if they have any policies in place regarding sexual abuse.

7. Check For Provisions At School To Make Molestation Complaints

Make sure that there is provision to make molestation complaints at your child’s school. If not, force the school into having one through the parent-teachers association. Also ask them to form an anti-child abuse committee comprising of teachers and parents, to whom children can make a complaint too in any case of abuse and as can parents.

8. Examine Your Access To Your Child’s School

Know your child’s school, check if the administration is parent-friendly and allows your involvement in framing of school policies and procedures. Talk to your child’s teachers and trainers frequently and know more about school policies for children’s safety.

9-Tips-To-Keep-Your-Children-Safe-From-Sexual-Predators_Consoling_A_Depressed_Child

Consoling A Depressed Child

9. Remember That Children Are Not Responsible For The Abuse They Face 

In case of any sexual abuse, parents have an important role in helping their child recover. Do not blame yourself or your child for the abuse. Spend more time with your child, reassure them and support them and most important of all, love them. Let your child talk about how they feel, at their own pace and do not in any case, shame them for what has occurred. The fault was not with them. It was with the abuser. It might be prudent to talk to a children’s psychologist or a family therapist to deal with traumatic incident better.

Also keep in mind that the statistics mentioned at the beginning of the article are only cases which have been reported to the National Crime Records Bureau. That too, the cases which have been reported might only constitute 25% of the actual child rapes going on in the country. The fact that an alarming 75% of child rapes go unreported means that the situation is a lot more worse than we think it is.

Please share your suggestions or opinions with us in the comments section below with regards to the other things parents can do to keep their children safe.

Share.

About Author

Rohia is an aspiring writer, who once upon a time used to be an engineer, until she decided to follow her true passion, writing. She enjoys playing piano, listening to music and singing too.

22 Comments

  1. Abbas Khaleel SM on

    I appreciate you for this timely and very useful article. The best till date. Parents has to consider seriously about points 3 & 5 . In today’s busy life style , where both parents are workings, are they really going to spend and share some time with children. How many parents are friends to their own children?.

    • Rohia Munavar on

      You are right, parents should always try to spend sometime with their children. Thank you very much. Glad that you found it useful.

  2. Mrs. Mahmuda Shaheen on

    Timely article. This is time for both school management and parents to sit together to discuss the issue and bring preventive measures. other than both parent and school phone numbers, children must know one easy number to remember to call at the time of need.

    • Rohia Munavar on

      You are right Mrs. Shaheen, it is important that children know an emergency-helpline number. Thank you, we are glad you liked our article.

  3. Abbas Khaleel SM on

    Other than parents numbers, children can remember this two numbers. Child helpline: 1098 & Police help: 1091, both lines are toll free and almost available in all major cities and towns across India. My request to all parents to refer website: http://www.childlineindia.org.in.

    • Rohia Munavar on

      These numbers are actually easy to remember. Thank you very much for sharing the information Abbas.

  4. The fact that so many cases of children’s sexual abuse occur is sickening. The worst part is when the perpetrator is someone the child trusted. School should seriously do background checks on all the employees they hire. Afterall, the safety of so many children is in their hands. Yet they play so fast and loose. And sexual abuse is not something that children recover from either. It can cause lasting damage to them.

    • Rohia Munavar on

      You are right Lavanya, children can never completely recover from sexual abuse. Parents should know about the people in their child’s life with whom they spend more time.

  5. Also, I completely agree with your first point. Parents should teach children about their bodies and about bad touch and good touch. Instead, talking about one’s body is so taboo that children haven’t a clue about what is happening. The child instead suffers in silence, convinced they were the ones who were wrong. Communication between parents and children is very important and can go a long way towards a child having a great childhood.

  6. Pingback: 6 Things Principals Can Do To Protect Their Students From Sexual Abuse

  7. Pingback: 10 Tips For Children To Protect Themselves From Sexual Abuse – review

  8. Your article is really helpful. We as parents really hesitate to discuss with the children about the First Point.
    There was an illusion from the perspective of many parents, like teaching the children about their bodies would mislead them. But, based on the current situation in the society it’s very important for every parent to take this step and provide a helping hand to their children.

    • You are right Swapna, it has become important for parents to make their children comfortable and discuss about the issue with them.

  9. Really a nice article and timely published. This article gives some guidance to parents to protect their child.The recent incidents in Bangalore has really shook the entire country and shows how insecure our children are even in Schools. This article has shown some forward path to all the paro ents who are clueless .

    As a part of suggestion all the parents/teachers/school management must educate the children to stay in group of 3 or 4. Even when going for wash rooms, canteen and even while waiting for the bus they must form a small group and stay. By doing this they minimize the attempts of the culprits and stay support to each other.
    This unity concept used to taught long back in the schools with help of small stories and even people used to practice them. Now life became very much isolated. Again its time to go back to olden days and practice unity to stay face and defeat these devils

    • You are right Ms. Nusheen, its time to teach children the importance of staying in groups. Thank you, I am glad you found the article useful. :)

  10. This is really a very good article but your point that parents should involve in children’s life completely, being
    a student I didn’t like it.

    • Haha. I see where you are coming from. When I was a teenager, I did not like my parents being fully involved in my life either. Its not that your parents need to know every little thing that you do. It’s just that in case you are going out, to a friend’s place, out to meet friends, or are going to be out late, let your parents know about your whereabouts. It would be also nice if they knew who your friends were. They don’t need to know what you are doing (hopefully age-appropriate things), just where you are and who you are with. :)

  11. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said “A father can give his son nothing better than a good education”. There are numerous advantages for parents both in this world and in the hereafter, when they provide proper Islamic education to their children.

Leave A Reply