Parenting: 5 Basic Steps You Should Teach Children To Prevent Sexual Assault

“The first defence against rape is letting your child know that they can come to you and you will believe them.” Trevor Mimano

Nowadays many cases of children being sexually assaulted are being reported. But even more worrying is that for every case reported there are many others that have not been reported. It is also important to note that there is an increase in cases of boys being sodomised so we should not take it for granted that only girls need lessons on personal security. Based on an interview that Caroline Mutoko had with security expert Trevor Mimano, here are a few basic things you should teach your children about their personal security.

1.Awareness. In whatever situation you find yourself in, predators will always single out the person who is oblivious of their environment. As a parent, you need to establish a loving relationship with your children so that they can come to you with a problem and you will listen, and offer guidance.  You should also be aware of the things that are happening in your child’s life. “Predators will interview your child to find out what kind of relationship you have with your children, and if they will come to you.”

2. Protection. You should establish to your child that if a time comes for them to defend themselves from predators you will have their back. An isolated child will be an easier target for attacks.

Illustration by Pat Kinsella. Image from http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/child-on-child-sexual-abuse-devastates-a-south-florida-family-8145634

3. Boundaries. Teaching your child to be physically accountable for their body at an early age is important. They should be able to bathe themselves because that is the only form of contact that is allowed. Your child should be able to refuse contact with individuals they are not comfortable with and not be forced into it. When your child refuses to hug an uncle or an auntie, you should not rebuke them. Here is an article that is helpful. Parenting: 4 Tips For Talking To Kids Openly About Sexuality

4. Fight. Depending on the situation at hand, your child should know that the first thing they should try to do is fight. This can be done verbally or physically. In face of danger, they should scream out for help. It is okay as a parent to teach your child a few basic mechanisms to fight. In situations that threaten them, your child should know how to hit, bite and defend themselves.

5. Flight. If a child is able to escape from the hands of a predator, they should know what they are running to. Tell them where to run, the first thing probably should be to run to a woman. Yes, there are women who are predators but it is safer to run towards a woman for help if your attacker is a man. It is safe to trust the motherly instinct to kick in and your child will be protected.

This is a great video to share with your kids when talking about boundaries, privacy and why nobody should touch their private parts. My Body Belongs To Me [Animated Short Film] 

Related to that, here are some tips on how to Protect your child from a sexual predator

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