7 Key Body Safety Messages
- TALK openly with your child – ensure they know they can talk to you about anything!
- TELL your child never to keep secrets that make them feel bad and uncomfortable, even if threatened.
- BE WARY of people who are always ‘there’ to help out and who take a special interest in your child.
- WATCH for out-of-character behavioral changes in your child and investigate.
- LISTEN to your child, even when you are busy and everything else seems more important – abused children often drop hints in conversations to gauge your reaction.
- ALWAYS believe your child when they tell you about any forms of abuse; reassure them of your love and that they were never to blame – your initial reaction to a disclosure is very important.
- EDUCATE your child in body safety before they are in the abuser’s web, and their lives are changed forever.
What if I suspect child sexual abuse?
Always remember boys and girls can become victims of child sexual abuse at any age. Never ignore a child who reports sexual abuse. Listen carefully to what the child says and call the Missouri child abuse hotline at 1-800-392-3738.