As Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month come to a close, we are honored to talk about the POWER of PREVENTION during this final week of significance.
While we cannot stop every instance, 95% of childhood sexual abuse is PREVENTABLE with education and awareness. Children can be taught to identify and avoid unsafe behaviors and situations, and to ask for help when needed. That’s why we put so much emphasis on the POWER of our prevention resources – delivering developmentally-appropriate lessons about personal safety from a place of fun, not fear!
Did you know? Children who receive school-based education about child sexual abuse prevention are 3.5 times more likely to report if they had been/were being abused compared to children who did not receive that education?
Unfortunately, child sexual abuse occurs at all socioeconomic levels, across all ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions, and at all levels of education — 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will become a victim before graduating from high school. By educating and empowering students, parents, and educators, we can prevent children from enduring this unnecessary and unthinkable abuse and help them access help in unsafe situations.
In addition to the Lauren’s Kids’ in-school Safer, Smarter Schools curriculum, the foundation also offers Safer, Smarter Families resources, a personal safety-based education series with free digital resources accessible to all, and printed resources available free to Florida families! Safer, Smarter Families teaches that the first step in combating child sexual abuse is teaching younger children to tune into their Guiding Voice and when in doubt, to use their TFA – Think, Feel, Act – tool.
By introducing your child to the concept of a “Guiding Voice,” as the little voice inside them that helps them decide if a situation is safe or unsafe, they’ll be better equipped to take on the world around them. We teach the importance of encouraging children to pay attention to what their Guiding Voice says in any situation.
In addition, we discuss the safety process of Think, Feel, Act (TFA). If your child isn’t sure about a situation, they should stop to Think about how whatever is happening makes them Feel – and what Action they should take based on the feeling. When our Guiding Voice tells us that a situation could be unsafe, we may feel icky, confused, uncomfortable, hurt, scared, or tricked. In those situations, we should always choose to Act by getting help from a Grown Up Buddy.
Remember, conversations about child sexual abuse prevention don’t have to be scary, and education and awareness are POWERFUL keys to prevention!
For more free tips, tools, safety lessons, and prevention strategies for families, visit https://safersmarterfamilies.org/
For more information about implementing the Lauren’s Kids Safer, Smarter Schools curriculum in your school, visit https://safersmarterschools.org/.