How to Talk to Kids About Sexual Abuse

It's important to explain the signs of sex abuse. Betsy Brown Braun, author of "Just Tell Me What to Say," recommends ways you can help your child to protect her body.

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[MUSIC] Parents often wonder how they can arm or guard a child against sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is not something that we actually talk to a child about. But what we want to do is help our children regardless of age to know that somebody else touching or handling his or her body and her private parts is not okay. So with our very young children of course, we start and we talk about your private parts are the parts that are covered by a bathing suit. Your older child knows what private parts are. So we say it is never okay for anybody except your mommy, your daddy, and your doctor. Couple of exceptions maybe the nanny, maybe grandma and grandpa. To touch your body, your private parts. And it is never okay for you to touch anybody else's private parts. And you need to be strong and always say no that's against my rules. You may not touch me, and I may not touch you. Whether your child is young or old, the same holds true. The most important thing to tell a child after we've talked about private parts, and the rules, and not touching is to let a child know that if somebody has touched his body in his private parts, or has tried to do so, he needs to tell someone. He needs to tell his parents, for sure. There's two things of which I want you to be mindful. The first is to tell your child even if it feels good, it's not okay. The second is for you to know the people who perpetrate bad stuff towards kids are usually people whom they know. It's not the stranger. It's not the weird looking guy on the street. It's the coach, the uncle, it's somebody else. So what's important for you is to be aware of what your child is doing and who he is with and what's going on to the very best of your ability.

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