Good communication between parents and children is the most important way to keep them safe from sexual abuse. Talk to them every day and take time to listen and observe. Introduce safety information to children as early as age two. Even young children can understand concepts related to abuse; for example, some wrong-minded adults, even someone they know and trust, may try to touch, threaten or hurt them.
Many parents warn their children not to talk to strangers. But more often than not, the child knows an abuser or abductor: a school bus driver, teacher, relative, neighbor or family friend. Many times the molestation occurs in the victim’s or abuser’s home. Teach your children what behaviors and situations are unacceptable and how to avoid them, such as what touches are good and what touches are bad. No one should touch them in the parts covered by their bathing suit, and they should not be asked to touch anyone there.
- Don’t let anyone take the child’s picture without permission from his or her parents or teacher.
- Teach children to stay away from people who call them to their car.
- If someone tries to take a child, they should yell, “This person is not my father (or mother),” and run.
- If lost in a store, the child should find another mom with children or go to the checkout counter. They should not wander around on their own.
The SAFE Task Force is a community resource. If you have a concern about any individual or any suspicious behavior contact us by phone at 408-808-4300 or email at [email protected]