Protect Your Kids from Sexual Abuse

As my family and I dive into the whirlwind of domestic adoption and begin looking into a domestic adoption of an older kid from the Los Angeles foster care system, I’ve been surfing stats trying to figure out the odds of inheriting an older child that’s been abused in some way, Chances are, unfortunately very high if the kid is older than 11.

We’ve narrowed the age down to looking for a foster kid under 3 but the sex abuse thing continues to haunt me because we have one very healthy beautiful bio son who I would never hurt in a million years. We’d never bring a child into our home if we thought that new kid would someday hurt Sam. So I looked up several agencies to get the stats and they are not only worrisome, but they warm all parents about the common abuses of children everyone, and not just kids from foster care.

Child abuse in schools, homes, public places, it’s everywhere.

Good advice about what every parent can do to protect all kids from sex abuse:

•    Encourage children to respect the comfort and privacy of others. Teach children about privacy and respect.

•    Be cautious with playful touch, such as play fighting and tickling. These may be uncomfortable or scary reminders of sexual abuse to some children.

•    Help children learn the importance of privacy. Remind children to knock before entering bathrooms and bedrooms, and encourage children to dress and bathe themselves if they are able.

•    Keep adult sexuality private. Teenage siblings may need reminders about what is permitted in your home when boyfriends and girlfriends are present.

•    Be aware of and limit sexual messages received through the media. Children who have experienced sexual abuse can find sexual content disturbing. It may be helpful to monitor music and music videos, as well as television programs, video games, and movies containing nudity or sexual language.

•     Limit access to grown-up magazines and monitor children’s Internet use.

This is from the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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