12 Confronting Child Sexual Abuse Statistics All Parents Need to Know

As a parent and an educator I find the statistics below both confronting and horrifying. However, they do highlight the reasons WHY we need to teach the children in our care Body Safety from the earliest of years. Such age-appropriate knowledge is empowering for children, and might well be the difference between a child becoming one of these statistics or not.

As an advocate for Body Safety Education in both homes and schools, I have heard many sad and crippling stories from adult survivors; but it’s this one shared comment that stays with me, “If only I had known from the first inappropriate touch it was wrong, my life could have been so different.”

I am not a survivor of childhood sexual abuse but I am a mother and teacher who believes we can do better by our kids. We need to put our adult fear of this topic aside, and take on the responsibility of educating our children so they know to tell, and keep on telling until they are believed. We also have a responsibility to educate ourselves so we know the signs of sexual abuse and grooming. Believing a child when they disclose sexual abuse is of the utmost importance, as is our reaction to the disclosure.

These statistics are a call to action for parents, carers and teachers everywhere — let’s educate ourselves and our kids in Body Safety, and like any good “ripple effect,” let’s educate others to do the same! I am asking you to play your part. Ironically, you may never know but your advocacy could positively change a child’s life forever.

1. Approximately 20 percent of girls (1 in 5) and 8 percent of boys (1 in 12.5) will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday (Pereda et al, 2009)

2. 95 percent of sexually abused children will be abused by someone they know and trust (NAPCAN 2009).

3. Of those molesting a child under six, 50 percent were family members. Family members also accounted for 23 percent of those abusing children 12 to 17 years (Snyder, 2000).

4. The most vulnerable age for children to be exposed to sexual assault is between 3 and 8 years with the majority of onset happening between these ages (Browne & Lynch, 1994).

5. Males made up 90 percent of adult child sexual assault perpetrators, while 3.9 percent of perpetrators were female, with a further 6 percent classified as ’unknown gender’ (McCloskey & Raphael, 2005).

6. As many of 40 percent of children who are sexually abused are abused by older, or more powerful children. (Finkelhor, 2012) Note: with the easy access to pornography we are seeing more and more cases of child on child sexual abuse, and older children/siblings sexually abusing younger children. Twenty-three percent of all 10 to 17 year olds experience exposure to unwanted pornography (Jones L., et al 2012).

7. Eighty-four percent of sexual victimization of children under 12 occurs in a residence (Snyder, 2000).

8. In 98 percent of child abuse cases reported to officials, children’s statements were found to be true (NSW Child Protection Council, cited in Dympna House 1998).

9. 1 in 3 adults would not believe a child if they disclosed sexual abuse (Australian Childhood Foundation, 2010).

10. Seventy-three percent of child victims do not tell anyone about the abuse for at least 1 year. Forty-five percent do not tell anyone for 5 years. Some never disclose (Broman-Fulks et al, 2007).

11. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse are 10 to 13 times more likely to attempt suicide. (Plunkett A, O’Toole B, Swanston H, Oates RK, Shrimpton S, Parkinson P 2001).

12. Children living without either parent (foster children) are 10 times more likely to be sexually abused than children who live with both biological parents. Children who live with a single parent that has a live-in partner are at the highest risk: they are 20 times more likely to be victims of sexual abuse than children living with both biological parents (Sedlack et al, 2010).

In my experience, children do not lie about sexual abuse and the research would indicate this. Please educate your child in Body Safety. I truly hope they may never need this knowledge but think of it as a safety belt — just in case.

We also know that children who are being sexually abused may first disclose to a friend. If that friend has been educated in Body Safety they will know to tell a trusted adult on their Safety Network. Educating children in Body Safety is in the best interests of all children.

If these statistics have raised any issues please, go to this links page. For more statistics and general information on child sexual abuse please visit Darkness to Light. To help get sexual abuse prevention education in all schools in the US please support Erin’s Law.

Free My Body Safety Rules poster to download for the children in your life.

Jayneen is the author of children’s books and a parent’s guide on Body Safety.

References

Australian Childhood Foundation (2010). Doing Nothing Hurts Children. Ringwood [Vic]: Australian Childhood Foundation.

Broman-Fulks, J. J., Ruggiero, K. J., Hanson, R. F., Smith, D. W., Resnick, H. S., Kilpatrick, D. G., & Saunders, B. E. (2007). Sexual assault disclosure in relation to adolescent mental health: Results from the National Survey of Adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36: 260 – 266

Browne, K. & Lynch, M. (1994). Prevention: Actions speak louder than words. Child Abuse Review, 3: 241-244.

Fergusson, D. M., & Mullen, P. E. (1999). Childhood sexual abuse: An evidence based perspective. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.

Finkelhor D. (2012) Characteristics of crimes against juveniles, Durham, NH: Crimes Against Children research Centre

Jones L., Mitchell K., Finkelhor D. (2012) Trends in youth victimization: findings from three youth internet safety surveys 2000-2010, Journal of Adolescent Health 50: 179-186

McCloskey KA, Raphael DN. Adult perpetrator gender asymmetries in child sexual assault victim selection: results from the 2000 National Incident-Based Report System. J Child Sex Abus. 2005;14(4):1-24.

New South Wales Child Protection Council, (1998). Managing Sex Offenders

Pereda, Guilera, Forns and Gomez-Benito (2009) The prevalence of child sexual abuse in community and student samples: a meta-analysis

Plunkett A, O’Toole B, Swanston H, Oates RK, Shrimpton S, Parkinson P. Suicide risk following child sexual abuse (2001)

Sedlak, A.J., Mettenburg, J., Basena, M., Petta, I., McPherson, K., Greene, A., and Li, S. (2010). Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS–4): Report to Congress, Executive Summary. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.

Snyder, H. N. (2000). Sexual assault of young children as reported to law enforcement: Victim, incident, and offender characteristics. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Program, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Note: Every attempt has been made to locate all references and their links. Due to the nature of this research statistics will vary according to the individual and/or team’s research data.

First published in The Huffingtonpost.

 

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

What is Body Safety Education?

Body Safety Education (aka sexual abuse prevention education) aims to empower children with skills and knowledge that will lessen the likelihood of them becoming victims of childhood sexual abuse.

In summary, Body Safety Education teaches children:

  •  the correct names for their private body parts
  • the difference between safe and unsafe touch
  • not to keep secrets that make them feel bad/uncomfortable
  • what to do if they are touched inappropriately
  • general assertiveness — especially in relation to their own body.

For a more in-depth coverage of Body Safety Education go to Jayneen's book 'Body Safety Education: a parents' guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse'

This book is also on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2cC7QNb

 
Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

Giving Kids a Voice at Xmas Time

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Christmas is a crazy time of the year. Relatives and friends will be coming and going, things will become hectic, and your kids will be a huge part of this exciting mix. However, two very important things to consider before things get really busy, you’re distracted and the kids are off … somewhere!

1. Prior to the Christmas/holiday rush, discuss with your child how they might like to greet family and friends in a way that makes your child feel comfortable. Remember, it may have been years since they have seen people, or they may have never met some family members before. Now might be a good time to read or reread ‘No Means No!’ and have that conversation not only about greetings but consent and body boundaries. So when good old Uncle Joe rushes through the door with his arms out wide and your little one hesitates, support your child by allowing them to greet in a way they have chosen not Uncle Joe! It may be a high-five, a handshake or that great big hug, but it must be your child’s choice! After all, it is THEIR body and they are the boss of it!

2. In over 85% of child sexual abuse cases, the child knew the offender (NSW Commission for Children and Young people, 2009). Sexual predators are in our homes and communities. Fact. And they will use every opportunity to groom both you and your child. The holiday season allows predators easy access to children. Therefore, make sure you revisit Body Safety skills with your child. And if you haven’t educated them in Body Safety than now is most definitely the time.  Educating your child with these skills will lessen the likelihood of them being targeted and consquently being sexually abused. Now is also an ideal time to read or reread "My Body! What I say Goes!" . And by displaying the My Body Safety Rules poster in your house you are basically saying to any potential predators that your child is educated in Body Safety and that means they are educated to to TELL! (BTW this poster is free to download!)

Enjoy this wonderful festive season with your family and friends but keep your radar tuned, and ensure you have safety measures in place for your child — these include safety messages around consent and body autonomy. Our kids are relying on us to provide this information and help keep them safe.

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education and respectful relationships to be taught both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’, ‘My Body! What I say Goes!’, ‘No Difference Between Us’, and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to www.e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2cC7QNb

 
Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

Why You MUST Teach Kids Sexual Abuse Prevention Education

1. 20% of girls and 8% of boys will experience childhood sexual abuse before their 18th birthday (Fergusson & Mullen, 1999; NSW Commission for Children & Young People, 2009).

2. Approximately 95% of sex abusers are known to the child (NAPCAN 2009). They will be amongst your family, friends and the community. Remember sexual predators groom both YOU and YOUR CHILD.

3. The most vulnerable age for children to be exposed to sexual abuse is between 3 and 8 years with the majority of onset happening between these ages (Browne & Lynch, 1994). It is NEVER too early to start teaching Body Safety (aka sexual abuse prevention education) to children.

4. Up to 95% of child sexual abusers are male (Bagley, 1995). They can be single, married and have families of their own. Women do abuse but the majority of sexual predators are male.

5. In 98% of child abuse cases reported to officials, children’s statements were found to be true (NSW Child Protection Council, cited in Dympna House 1998). Children DO NOT lie about being sexually abused.

6. Children who live with a single parent that has a live-in partner are at the highest risk of sexual abuse: they are 20 times more likely to be victims of sexual abuse than children living with both biological parents (Sedlack et al, 2010). Be very careful who you bring into your home and your life.

7. Research tells us that your child is more likely to be sexually abused than suffer from asthma (Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, Bureau of Criminology and CASA House). Think about that!

My final point:  Don’t let your adult fear of this topic put children at risk. Body Safety Education is age-appropriate, empowering and key to keeping children safe from the life-long trauma that is childhood sexual abuse. Talk about this topic openly with family and friends, and educate your children and encourage others to do the same. As adults we have a duty of care to protect the children in our communities; so let’s work together to remove the shadows in which predators hide because this is exactly what they don’t want us to do!  

 

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education and respectful relationships to be taught both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’, ‘My Body! What I say Goes!’, ‘No Difference Between Us’, and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to www.e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2cC7QNb

 

 

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

Empowering Tweens, Teenage Girls and Young Women

As parents we want our girls to grow up confident, with an amazing sense of self-worth, a whole lot of resilience and respect for others and the world around them. In a world where gender inequality is still a major issue and sexual harassment of young girls is beginning younger and younger, we need empowered daughters. There is no easy fix for this, but as a mother of three young women here are a few suggestions.

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1. From a very young age educate your daughter to understand her body is her body, and that people must respect her personal body boundaries. This is her right.

2. Ensure you have an open dialogue with your daughter from a young age. Nothing should be off the table, including sex and pornography. That way if your daughter has any concerns she will feel comfortable to talk to you about them.

3. Self-confidence is key. Get your daughter into a sport or activity where she is valued and does relatively well. This will only increase her confidence and sense of self.

4. Feel confident about your own achievements. Never talk about yourself and/or your body in derogatory terms in front of your daughter. Remember our daughter’s are often listening (even we don’t think they are) and we are their role models.

5. As your daughter develops, sadly, she will encounter sexual harassment. How she copes with this will depend on the situation and the risk factors. I personally encourage my daughters to confidently walk away, call the male/s out on it if they feel safe to do so, tell a person in authority (if in the work place), tell me (when they were tweens and teenagers).

My estimate is that 99.9% of women have been sexually harassed in one form or another. We accept it, but it is actually UNACCEPTABLE. Men need to step up and STOP this practice. Men need to step up and CALL OUT other men who think they have a right to harass women. Parents need to educate their sons to respect women and that sexually harassing girls and women is never acceptable. Meanwhile … I hope the above points help your daughters in some small way!

 

written by Jayneen Sanders Copyright UpLoad Publishing

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education and respectful relationships to be taught both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’, ‘My Body! What I say Goes!’, ‘No Difference Between Us’, and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to www.e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2cC7QNb

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

Body Safety ‘What Ifs?’ for Kids

After children have been taught their Body Safety Rules, ask them these ‘What If?’ questions to reinforce the safety messages learnt.

What if?

What if someone asks to see your private parts?

You know: Your body belongs to you and your private parts are just for you.

Say: No! My private parts are just for me.

Action: Tell one of the adults on your *Safety Network straightaway. If they don’t believe you, tell another adult on your Safety Network.

 

What if?

What if a person tells you to keep a secret that makes you feel uncomfortable and unsafe?

You know: Secrets that make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe should NEVER be kept.

Say: I don’t keep secrets. I only keep happy surprises because they will be told.

Action: Tell one of the adults on your *Safety Network straightaway. If they don’t believe you, tell another adult on your Safety Network.

 

What if?

What if you feel any of your *Early Warning Signs in any situation?

You know: That this is your body letting you know something is not right.

Say: No! I don’t want to do that!

Action: Tell one of the adults on your *Safety Network straightaway. If they don’t believe you, tell another adult on your Safety Network.

 

What if?

What if someone shows you pictures on a phone, ipad or computer of adults, teenagers or children showing and/or touching their private parts.

You know: No-one should show you pictures of private parts. This is very wrong.

Say: No! Don’t show me those pictures! Kids should never see these kinds of pictures.

Action: Tell one of the adults on your *Safety Network straightaway. If they don’t believe you, tell another adult on your Safety Network.

 

What if?

What if someone tells you to play a ‘fun game’ where you both pull down your pants and show each other your private parts?

You know: Your body belongs to you and your private parts are just for you.

Say: No! My private parts are just for me.

Action: Tell one of the adults on your *Safety Network straightaway. If they don’t believe you, tell another adult on your Safety Network.

 

What if?

What if someone tells you (or sends you a message on a phone or computer) asking you to send pictures of your private parts?

You know: This is very wrong.

Say: No! This is wrong. Kids don’t do this. 

Action: Tell one of the adults on your *Safety Network straightaway. If they don’t believe you, tell another adult on your *Safety Network.

 

What if?

What if an adult, an older teenager or other kids start to make jokes about private parts?

You know: No-one should ever make jokes about private parts especially with kids.

Say: Stop! You should never joke about private parts with kids.

Action: Tell one of the adults on your *Safety Network straightaway. If they don’t believe you, tell another adult on your Safety Network.

 

 

What if?

What if children are playing around in the toilets (or playground) at school and trying to see other people’s private parts?

You know: Everyone’s body belongs to them and kids should not be trying to look at each other’s private parts.

Say: Stop! This is wrong. You are not allowed to look at other kids’ private parts.

Action: Tell one of the adults on your *Safety Network straightaway (usually your teacher or the teacher on duty). If they don’t believe you, tell another adult on your Safety Network.

 

*Safety Network: 3 to 5 adults that a child can trust and can tell anything to and know those adults will believe them.

*Early Warning Signs: when our body lets us know that we are scared or uncomfortable, i.e. we may have sweaty palms, sick tummy, shaky legs, heart racing, etc. Go to: www.e2epublishing.info/posters/ to download this free ‘Early Warning Signs’ poster to share with children.

written by Jayneen Sanders

Copyright UpLoad Publishing

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education and respectful relationships to be taught both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’, ‘My Body! What I say Goes!’, ‘No Difference Between Us’, and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to www.e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2cC7QNb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

10 Top Tips to Empower Kids

As parents we want our kids to grow up confident, with an amazing sense of self-worth, a whole lot of resilience and respect for others and the world around them. As adults, we know persistence and tenacity are important traits when the going becomes tough. Children are a blank slate when they are born. It is a scary thought, but in the early years, children will become what adults tell them they are. I have seen this both as an educator and a mother. The child who is told they are stupid and worthless will believe that is what they are. A child who is nurtured to believe in him or herself, encouraged to take risks and is continually reinforced for their efforts with positive affirmations and respect, will most likely develop a strong belief in him or herself and their capabilities. And yes, as they grow, their peers and teachers will and do influence their sense of self, but we can only hope the positive foundations we have nurtured are solidly in place. Here are my top ten tips to empower kids so they can develop into confident, happy, respectful, well-adjusted and resilient teenagers and adults.

1. Give your child choice.

From a young age, allow your child to make decisions that directly relate to them. For example, allow them to choose between cereal or toast for breakfast; the red, pink, blue or green toothbrush; the orange T-shirt or the striped T-shirt. And dare I say it… allow them to choose their own outfits! Choice and voice go together. Allowing your child choice gives them a voice and therefore a say in what directly relates to them and their daily life.

2. Listen to your child.

Not only listen to your child’s voice but note their moods and listen for what is NOT being said. When you ask your child how they are after kindergarten or school, REALLY ask them how they are. Stop your busy life and engage with your child. Find out what may be upsetting them or what may being giving them loads of joy. Ensure nothing is off the table and ensure you child can tell you or ask you about anything. And if you child doesn’t like some-one or doesn’t wish to go with a certain person, listen. I don't wish to scare you unnecessarily but this is one of the signs a child may indirectly provide if they are being sexually abused.

3. Teach your child Body Safety.

There is nothing more empowering than teaching your child Body Safety Education from as young as two. Providing children with knowledge about their personal boundaries and their rights, especially in regards to their body is incredibly empowering. A child educated in Body Safety knows to tell, tell, tell if they are touched inappropriately, and is far less likely to be a victim of a sexual predator. Pedophiles rely on children keeping secrets and not knowing the sexual touch is wrong. An educated child who knows to tell is their worst nightmare! See my parents’ guide: ‘Body safety Education — a parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ to educate both yourself and your child. We can’t always be with our children, for example, when they are on a sleepover or scout camp, but we can provide ‘a safety belt’ so to speak through teaching them Body Safety Education! See also my children’s book ‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’ which is a great tool to open up the discussion about safe and unsafe touch.

4. Allow your child to take risks.

I know it’s scary but sometimes we have to trust our kids and allow them to take some risks. Try to stop yourself reaching out, and trust your child to climb that tree, go down that big slide and swim a lap alone. (Believe me, it is really hard to not say a word when your 21-year-old daughter decides to travel the world alone starting with a one-way ticket to Istanbul!) On that point, a friend of mine restricted her children from doing so many physical things that now, the youngest in particular, is fearful to do anything, and this has translated into adulthood. Hold yourself back, not your child, and allow them to explore their world.

5. Use your words wisely.

Encourage your child’s endeavours with words such clever, smart, beautiful inside and out, creative, talented, etc. Particularly amongst young girls, I suggest you do not continually focus on their physical appearance and focus more on their talents and creative pursuits. And if an argument ensues as they always do, remember what has been said can’t be unsaid. As one wise person said to me — choose your battles wisely as words can and do hurt. On a personal note, every night when my girls were younger, I would kiss them good night and I would whisper something positive from the day such as, ‘I really loved how you tried so hard in netball today. You always make me proud.’ Going to sleep with such a positive thought ringing in your ears can only be empowering!

6. Encourage your child to follow their interests.

Your child’s interests may not always be your interests but if your son or daughter loves to dance or play football for example, than be as supportive and encouraging as you can. I know! This should go without saying!

7. Allow your child to greet others in a way they are comfortable with.

When greeting relatives, in particular, and your child doesn’t want to kiss Uncle Jo or Grandma than allow your child to choose a high five, blow a kiss or provide a hand-shake. Just because your child is a child doesn’t mean they should be forced to show affection. This only gives them the message that their wishes don’t matter. Your child should give hugs and kisses willingly, and all adults and other children need to respect this. See my children’s book ‘No Means No!’ which is on this very topic!

8. Discourage gender stereotyping.

Ensure your child believes he or she can be and do anything they set their heart to. There are no set roles for men and women! Believe in your child. There are no limits. Discourage gender stereotyping and do no become a party to the media’s continual bombardment.

9.  Encourage perseverance.

Life is not always easy, so encourage your child to try and keep on trying until they succeed or come close to it! I must admit I am a bit of a trier and it has held me in good stead!

10. Teach your child the ‘pirate stance’!

This a fun activity but actual an empowering one! Have your child stand for 30 seconds every second day (or so) like a pirate. Have your child place their hands on their hips, their legs slightly apart and their shoulders back. Research tells us this stance is incredibly empowering; particularly for girls. Give it a try yourself!

Bottom line is… the most empowering thing you can do as a parent for you child is to trust them, show respect and to encourage them in all they choose to do!

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education and respectful relationships to be taught both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’, ‘My Body! What I say Goes!’, ‘No Difference Between Us’, and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to www.e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2cC7QNb

2 Comments

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

A Teenage Girl's Guide to Empowerment

1. Embrace your uniqueness and ignore anyone who tries to shame or bully you about your appearance. We all have a body and each body is different. Love yourself.

2. Do not slut-shame* other girls. Support each other. Women face many expectations from a male-dominated society. Lift each other up to fight gender inequality.

3. Pornography is not real. It is not what a loving respectful relationship looks like. What you may have seen are two or more actors. Even though the woman appears to enjoy sex that objectifies and degrades her, in real-life this most likely is not the case.

4. A loving relationship is where two people enjoy time together and BOTH enjoy sex that is mutually respectful.

5. You do not have to perform sexual acts that make you feel uncomfortable. You have the right to say, ‘No’ at ANYTIME. The other person needs to STOP immediately.

6. Yes means yes! When you do want to have sex and it is mutually respectful, enjoy!

7. Oral sex is sex.

8. Masturbation should be absolutely guilt free. It’s your body!

9. You do not have to post or send naked selfies of yourself to anyone. No-one has the right to pressure you into doing this. If they do, than seriously question their motivation.

10. Mutual, respectful sex is about you enjoying sex also, not just your partner.

11. Verbal, physical and psychological violence is NEVER okay.

12. Listed are some great organizations where you can gain more information.

     The Line: http://www.theline.org.au

     Kids Helpline: https://kidshelpline.com.au

     Our Watch: http://www.ourwatch.org.au

     Headspace: https://www.headspace.org.au

 

*slut-shaming : also known as slut-bashing, is the idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging sexual feelings, and/or acting on sexual feelings

by Jayneen Sanders

[copyright] Educate2Empower Publishing: www.e2epublishing.info

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

Tips to Promote Gender Equality in Your Classroom

As classroom teachers we have an ideal opportunity to encourage gender equality and respectful relationships in our classroom through very simple but effective practices. Research tells us in order to reduce gender-based violence we need to teach these skills to children from the earliest of years. Our differences make us unique but it is our ‘sameness’ that makes us human. The message we have the opportunity to promote in our classroom is that no matter what gender we are, we all have hopes and dreams, and we all need to treat each other with respect and dignity. No gender is ‘better’ than the other or more ‘powerful’. Every person has the right to meet their full potential. By setting up a more ‘gender-neutral’ classroom we are at the forefront of breaking down social norms that promote gender inequality and gender-based violence.

1. Use gender-neutral language when referring to children, e.g. instead of saying, ‘Choose a boy to go with you’; say, ‘Choose a friend to go with you’. Similarly, avoid organizing children according to gender, e.g. ‘Boys line up here and girls here.’ This only reinforces gender segregation.  

2. Avoid stereotyping children, e.g. boys are noisy and loud, girls are calm and sweet; boys show less emotion and girls cry more readily. Note that these often-subconscious assumptions will affect your behavior and expectations towards the children.

3. Self-regulate your own interaction with the children. We tend to comfort girls more and send boys on their way earlier. Encourage all children to share feelings and emotions equally.

4. Jumble together all the dress-ups, toys, games, blocks, etc. so all genders have an equal opportunity to use the equipment rather than the girls traditionally drifting towards the dress-ups and the boys towards the blocks.  

5.  Provide a wide range of diverse stories about the genders in non-stereotyped roles. If such books are limited, change ‘he’ to ‘she’ in some books so the girls have a leadership role.

6. When reading books where typically the tiger or bear is a ‘him’ and the butterfly or bird is a ‘she’, change the gender around. Alternatively, use the gender-neutral term, ‘shim’ or ‘hen’.

7. Try not to assign classroom tasks that traditionally relate to a specific gender, e.g. boys moving desks or taking out the bins, while girls are asked to tidy up the dress-up corner.

8. Some children will come to school with preconceived ideas about gender. If a child does say, for example, ‘Marnie can’t play because it's a boy’s game.’ Use that as a ‘teachable moment’ and unpack how the comment made Marnie feel, and why you don’t have any gender-specific tasks in the classroom.

9. Ask children to draw their idea of a fire-fighter, police officer and nurse. Then invite a female fire-fighter and police officer, and a male nurse into the classroom. Invite them to talk about their jobs and unpack the children’s drawings and expectations about the visitors. Always use non-gender specific terms when referring to occupations, e.g. chairperson, flight attendant.

10. Encourage the school staff to devise a gender-equality policy that promotes gender-neutral language and encourages non-traditional gender roles and activities.

11. Hold a parent night to unpack your classroom/school’s policy on gender equality and the use of gender-neutral language. Many parents will find this challenging so it is best to explain the reason behind the decision, i.e. all genders have the right to equal opportunities.

12. Be inclusive of a child/children who identifies as another gender to the one they were assigned at birth. Refer to the child in the gender they prefer. Your modelling of how this child is included and referred to will be paramount to the attitudes of the other children and their families.  

Finally, as teachers we have an amazing opportunity to model gender equality in our classrooms. We are preparing children for a changing world where traditional ways of thinking about male and female roles will no longer exist. The use of gender-specific language is most often bias towards masculine words, which only reinforces gender stereotyping and a gender-power imbalance. Therefore, the language the children hear in our classrooms and the opportunities they are presented with will affect their interests, activities and eventually careers. In years to come, I hope that ensuring we have a classroom where gender equality is promoted is no longer needed—simply because gender inequality no longer exists!  

 

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education and respectful relationships to be taught both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’, ‘My Body! What I say Goes!’, ‘No Difference Between Us’, and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=jayneen+sanders

 

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Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

A DUMMIES’ Guide for Teenage Boys in How to Respect Girls

1. Treat girls as human because that is what they are. They breathe and they have feelings. Your words and actions can cause lasting damage. Think before you speak and act.

2. No slut-shaming*. Girls have the right to wear whatever they like without fear of being sexually assaulted. What they are wearing or the fact that they enjoy sex is not an invitation for you to make unwanted sexual advances or speak about or to a girl in slut-shaming terms.

3. When a girl says ‘NO’ to anything she means ‘NO!’ She does not mean ‘maybe’ or ‘I’m not sure’. Girls can say ‘NO’ at any time during sexual contact. This means you STOP immediately.

4. Girls are equal to you in brain power. In fact, many will exceed you. This may be news to you but they can also be physically stronger than you. They can also be better at sport.

5. Many girls love to have fun and party. This does not mean you can come onto them (make sexual advances) when they are drunk or high. In fact, this is a good time to look out for them as you would any human in a similar situation.

6. Girls are not here on this earth for your pleasure. They are not sexual objects. It may be news to you but they do not like cat-calling*, gossiping with others about their bodies or appearance, being stared at while going about their daily routines.

7. Pornography is not real. It is not what a loving respectful relationship looks like. What you may have seen are two or more actors. Even though the woman appears to enjoy sex that objectifies and degrades her, in real-life this most likely is not the case. A loving relationship is where two people enjoy time together and both enjoy sex that is mutually respectful.

8. Do not tell a girl you love/like her, get her to take a naked selfie and then post it on the internet so you look impressive to your friends. I repeat, DO NOT do this despicable and illegal act.

9. Do not take pictures of girls without their permission. Do not post such pictures on the internet. I repeat, DO NOT do this despicable and illegal act.

10. Lastly, be a kind, good human being to all other human beings this includes girls.

Educators/carers please unpack each point with teenagers. Ask, ‘What does this mean?’

*slut-shaming : also known as slut-bashing, is the idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging sexual feelings, and/or acting on sexual feelings

*cat-calling: a loud whistle or a comment of a sexual nature made by a man to a passing woman

written by Jayneen Sanders www.e2epublishing.info

Copyright Educate2Empower Publishing   

 

2 Comments

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

I’m Deeply Concerned About Our Kids and Here Is Why

In my opinion ...

1. Children are being exposed to sexually explicit content that they are not mature enough to see. This content has deeply traumatic effects on the child.

2. Children are more exposed to horrifying and disturbing images of conflict and trauma worldwide than ever before. They don’t have the maturity and insight to deal with what they are seeing and hearing about, which can lead to anxiety and depression.

3. Women and girls are sexually objectified constantly and relentlessly through the media and our children (particularly young girls) are seeing their worth as a sexualised object for male pleasure.

4. The pornography our kids are seeing is causing our boys in particular to outplay aggressive and sexualised behaviour within their classrooms and the community. In response to this behaviour, many girls are becoming either more sexualised or withdrawn and submissive.

5. Girls early exposure to pornography and/or aggressive sexualised behaviour of boys is either resulting in them performing sex acts they are not comfortable with or the idea of sex is terrifying to them. The result is both girls and boys have no concept of what a mutual respectful relationship actually is.

6. Girls early exposure to pornography can result in a fear of sex and therefore the enjoyment they can experience from a mutually respectful sexual relationship is diminished. In other words girls are not enjoying sex as is their right, they are becoming terrified of it!

Children are visual learners and their current world consists of never-ending images. In no other time in history have they been so bombarded by the visual through our advancing technology. I am deeply concerned about what our children are learning … without adults actually being aware of what it is they are learning … Kids are just playing a game on the ipad. Right? Sadly what they are viewing and consequently learning is so much more than that.

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education and respectful relationships to be taught both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’, ‘My Body! What I say Goes!’, ‘No Difference Between Us’, and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=jayneen+sanders

 

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

Why I Wrote the Children’s Book ‘No Means No!’

About two years ago when I was a substitute teacher in a grade 1 class, I encountered a little girl of around 7 years old. For this blog, let’s call her Karli. Karli was a very shy child (unlike my own three outspoken daughters and myself as a child:)) but I respected this aspect of what I believed to be her innate nature. Karli was also one of those little girls that the boys seem to gravitate towards. Always buzzing around her and wanting to hug, kiss and hold her hand. Karli would respond with coy smiles and allow them to show the affection they wished to bestow upon her.

On my second day in the class, the boys’ and Karli’s behavior began to increasingly worry me. I asked Karli if she really wanted the boys to hug and kiss her. He response was, ‘No, I don’t’. At this point I said to her, ‘Well, Karli, you have the right to say NO to the boys.’ I showed her how she could stand firm and tall, put her hand out in front of her and say, ‘NO! I don’t like that!’. It really didn’t come as a surprise to me, that she actually couldn't do it. She became giggly and coy every time she tried to model my stance and actions.

To be frank, Karli was a very pretty girl and I expect adults and children alike thought so too. She most likely had learnt from a very young age that she was an object to be admired and being innately shy, she consequently put up with the hugs and kisses the boys (and I suspect adults) had always bestowed upon her.

By the third day, I had her standing in her super girl/pirate stance, with one hand on her hip and one hand outstretched saying, ‘NO! Means No!’ I have to admit it was hard for her, and it took some time for Karli to be able do this in front of me; but eventually and with practice she became comfortable to use her voice and firm body language.

After teaching Karli and her classmates, I decided there was a definite need to write a children’s book to empower young kids and give them a voice. It is crucial that children from a very young age know their body is their body, and that they have a right to say, ‘NO’ to unwanted touch. Our children’s bodies belong to them. If they don’t wish to hug or kiss an adult or another child, they have the right to say, ‘NO’. A polite high five or shake of the hand is perfectly fine. Adults and children alike, need to respect this ‘NO’; they also need to ask permission of a child if wanting to hug or kiss them. Of course in many child-adult relationships there may be an ongoing mutual understanding that hugs and kisses are okay, and that permission is not sought every time. But if the child doesn’t want a hug or a kiss on a particular occasion, than their ‘NO’ is also okay and to be respected.

Teaching a young child from the earliest of years consent and body autonomy is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. It provides a child with the confidence and assertiveness to say, ‘NO’ to unwanted touch (which includes bullying) and especially unsafe touch (see www.e2epublishing.info for children’s books on Body Safety). Child sexual predators will and do use use tickling and touching games to groom young children. If your child has the confidence to say, ‘NO’ to any form of unwanted touch, then you have given them a great gift, and they will have an awesome chance to grow into confident and assertive teenagers and adults.

 

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education and respectful relationships to be taught both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’, ‘My Body! What I say Goes!’, ‘No Difference Between Us’, and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=jayneen+sanders

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

How Fathers Can Affect Their Daughters’ Take on the World

My husband and I have three amazing daughters, all young women now who are seeking out life’s adventures and their place in the world. In my recent children’s book on gender equality ‘Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain’ I wrote the following dedication to my husband:

“To my wonderful husband, Mark, because from the moment we met, equality was always a given.”

And there it is! Equality! The key word to how we have always and will continue to parent. And from that basis, I will endeavour to list all the things I believe my husband as a feminist father has given our daughters over their growing years and even now as adults. Feel free to comment and join in with more ideas.

1. Choice: Mark always encouraged our daughters to be part of their own decision making, e.g, asking them what they would like to wear, what food they would like for breakfast/lunch/dinner (healthy of course), outings for the family, etc. They had a voice in the family decision-making from the earliest of years. This taught our daughters that men don’t always make the decisions. Decision-making is equal between genders, and all people have the right to choice.

2. Encouragement: Mark encouraged our daughters to try anything and everything, to never give up, to be resilient when things went wrong, to be brave and to be bold, to invent and try things that seemed impossible, and to push themselves. This taught our daughters that women can do anything in any field of their choice; the sky is the limit. Glass ceilings can and must be broken.

3. Respect: Mark has always and still does listen respectfully to each daughter’s opinion (especially with sibling arguments). He also listens respectfully to all people’s opinions regardless of their gender or race. We have modelled this with each other. As a woman, I am treated with the same respect that I, in turn, give Mark. This has taught our daughters that everyone has a voice and we need to respect that voice even if we don’t always agree with it. They have learnt that everyone has a different take on the world and we should stop, take a breath, and try to see the argument from another’s point of view. They have also learnt that men should and must respect women and vice a versa.

4. Confidence: Mark has always made our daughters feel safe. He has as an amazing knack to make them feel lovely and loved. Simple words of encouragement either written or voiced have made them feel beautiful and secure. Every birthday (from around 3 years) they have been given flowers, chocolates and a hand-written card telling them why he is so proud of each one. This has taught our daughters that feeling good about yourself and knowing you are loved is empowering. Confidence is the solid base on which to build your life.

5. Body Autonomy: Mark’s conversations over the years with our daughters have always been open and honest; with nothing off the table. Our daughters knew their body was their body from a very early age and that ‘No’ actually meant no! This has taught our daughters to respect their body and to have the ability to stand up against coercion. It has also given them the strength of character to stand up for others.

6. Equality: Mark has always modelled equality of the genders and race within and beyond our family unit. This has taught our daughters to respect diversity in all its forms, and to embrace and learn from it.

7. Violence is Never the Answer: Our daughters have never seen violence in our home. They have seen dialogue to produce conflict resolution. This has taught our daughters that violence is never the answer and it is unacceptable. They know the importance of dialogue to resolve conflict.

8. Learn from Our Mistakes: Mark has always admitted when he was wrong both to our daughters and myself. His belief is we are learning from cradle to grave. This has taught our daughters that it is okay to make mistakes. We are, after all only human. To be human is to make mistakes. And to learn from such mistakes moves us forward.

9. Family: Family is being together; sharing, laughing, enjoying each other’s company, listening even when one is too busy and so much more! Mark has always been a major part of this; interacting and playing with our daughters over the years. He has always been available to listen or advise. This has taught our daughters they will never be alone when they have family and they are loved.

10. A Good Man: By growing up with Mark our daughters have learnt just what a ‘good man’ is. A good man shows kindness, empathy, treats all humans equally and respectfully irrespective of gender or race, is non-violent, is loving, is gentle, has time to listen, has time to help, is self-reflective and wise, respects other’s choice and is not afraid to show the spectrum of emotions. This has taught our daughters that they deserve nothing less than good men in their lives.

Authors’ note: This blog has been about the ‘male’ side of my family’s joint parenting. The ten points above we have done together. However, what our daughters have learnt about men has most often come from my husband’s role in our joint parenting.

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education and respectful relationships to be taught both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Jayneen-Sanders/e/B00BDCGZ1W/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

 

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

Dear Mothers and Fathers of Boys

As a mother of girls in 2016 I have the following requests — especially as my daughters are now young women.

Please teach your sons the following as they grow into manhood.

1. Teach your sons, from a very young age, that girls are not here on this earth for them. For example, they cannot simply take hold of a girl’s hand during kindergarten story-time or chase her around trying to ‘steal kisses’. If your son wishes to hold a little girl’s hand, he will need to ask. For example, ‘Please, may I hold you hand?’ If she says, ‘Yes’, then he can hold her hand for as long as she remains consensual. If she says, ‘No’; then your son needs to understand that ‘No’ means 'No'. It does not mean, ‘You can follow me around until I give in.' It does not mean, ‘Maybe. Keep trying.’ And it certainly does not mean, ‘Yes.' Teach your sons that ‘No' means 'No’ whether you are a child, a teenager or an adult.

2. Teach your sons to respect girls/women of all ages. Sorry! Let me qualify that! Teach your sons to respect any and all genders of all ages. Respect is every human being’s right. People can be white, blue, green or black; they can be gay, transgender, heterosexual or identify as no gender. They can be of any religion or atheist. Respect is key to this world being a tolerate and peaceful planet. Teach your sons to respect all voices, and to listen and learn.

3. Teach your sons that the pornography they are viewing online is not consensual sex. It is not how healthy and loving relationships go. Teach your sons that most young women don’t want to be treated abusively, and be physically and mentally humiliated as portrayed in pornographic videos and images. Teach your sons that this is a multi-billion dollar industry and what they are seeing is not real. Teach your sons that a healthy relationship is one of respect and mutual consent. It also involves friendship and humour. Note: your sons WILL see pornography. Research tells us 99% of 16 year old boys have viewed pornography.

http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/children-becoming-addicted-to-internet-porn-20121025-287ni.html

4. Teach your sons not to comment (and/or imply through body language) on a girl’s/woman’s physical appearance unless to compliment with sincerity. Women have enough to contend with re the media’s portrayal of beauty; they do not need your sons adding to that.

5. Teach your sons not to shout and 'cat call' to women/girls on the street or anywhere else. Women DON'T like it. They do not find it complimentary. My daughter and her friends did not enjoy, as they walked down a city street, being called ‘sluts, whores and slags’ simply because they ignored the catcalling of a group of boys roaring around in an expensive car. These boys obviously felt they had the right to be abusive. Sadly, my daughter and her friends had no choice but to put up with it and try not to let the words embed. This angers me greatly that these young women were subjected to foul verbal abuse simply because of their gender.

6. And this one is for all my daughters. Teach your sons they don’t have the right to say, ‘My God! You are tall! Are you a giant?’ My daughters don’t say to your sons, ‘My God! You are short! Are you a dwarf?’ They have been raised to respect the difference between human beings, and to not comment upon it.

7. Teach your sons that the girls/women they come in contact with have hopes and dreams just as they do. Girls will want to reach for the stars and your sons need to applaud their achievements (that may well exceed their own) rather than be threatened by them.

8. Teach your sons that they can’t always 'fix' their partner’s problems. Sometimes their partner may just need to he held and supported. Men so often want to be ‘fixers’. Sometimes they just need to ‘hear’ their partner and hold them close.

9. Teach your sons that the world can be an amazing place if they partner with girls/women on an even footing with each individual contributing their talents unreservedly. Teach your sons to be feminists, as in the old-fashion sense of the 80’s, i.e ‘gender equality’; and this world will be a far richer, fairer and more espectful place.

 

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education to be taught both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’ and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Jayneen-Sanders/e/B00BDCGZ1W/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

'Body Safety Education — A parents' guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse' is now available at: http://somesecrets.info/buy-body-safety-education/

 

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

8 Reasons NOT to Call Your Child’s Genitals ‘Pet’ Names

mini     cupcake          fireman's hose           buddy            doughnut        muffin         doodle            wee   

butterfly          flower             pee-pee        fanny  

doo-dad         thingy          peanut          winky         penny-loo      tuppence       doodle        dick        rah     

girl bits           mickey       twah-lah          pee-pee

winky-dink       hooha            pooter            front bottom           willy            sausage         cookie

 

As an advocate for Body Safety Education both in homes and schools, I implore you to use the correct anatomical terms for your child’s genitals. These terms are:  VAGINA, VULVA, BREASTS, BOTTOM, PENIS, TESTICLES.

 

Here are 8 very important reasons why!

1. If a child is touched inappropriately, the child can tell a trusted adult on their Safety Network accurately, i.e. 'XXXX touched me on my penis.' This has a lot more weight if the child's accusations were to go to court.

2. If a child says to a teacher, for example, 'XXXX touched my cookie.' This may be discounted. If the child says, 'XXXX touched my vagina' the child will be much more likely to be listened to and taken seriously.

3. If a child says to the perpetrator, 'Stop! Don't touch my vagina!' The potential abuser knows this child is empowered with Body Safety knowledge. This child is less likely to be targeted. Also, pedophiles will be wary of the child who uses the correct names for the genitals because these are adult terms, and if the child does tell, adults will not easily dismiss the touch as ‘harmless fun’.

4. If your child's starts to use 'pet names', you might question where they are hearing these; as your family uses the correct anatomical terms. This can be a red flag to grooming and abuse.

5. Using pet names with your child makes it easier for a pedophile to ‘off load’ any complaints of inappropriate touch made by the child as just a ‘bit of fun’ and easily dismissed by adults uneducated in Body Safety.

6. Using the correct anatomical terms helps explain to children the changes to their body as puberty kicks in. The topic can be discussed without making it into a joke or belittling its importance. Body parts such as the penis or vagina should be as 'everyday' to your child as any other body part, for example, an elbow or nose.

7. If your child’s genitals are hurt or there is a medical problem, it is easier for your child to tell you and/or a health-care professional with more accuracy. For example, just recently a 7-year-old boy told both myself and the class he was unable to play sport because he had hurt his testicles. Not one child giggled and I was able to say with genuine concern, 'No problem. I hope you feel better soon.'

8. Having pet names for your child's private parts could inadvertently teach them that their private parts are places we shouldn’t speak about, and/or that they are ‘rude places’. This could, potentially, lead your child to believe that they must keep any inappropriate touch a secret.

In summary, what parents, care-givers, teachers and health-care professionals all want is to empower kids! Teaching them the correct anatomical names for the gentials is a closer step towards this outcome. There is no downside!

Jayneen Sanders

Many thanks to our Facebook likers (https://www.facebook.com/SomeSecretsShouldNeverBeKept?ref=hl) for their suggestions.

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books on safe and unsafe touch 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', ‘No Means No!’ and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to www.somesecrets.info

All books are also available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Jayneen-Sanders/e/B00BDCGZ1W/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

'Body Safety Education — A parents' guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse' is now available at: http://somesecrets.info/buy-body-safety-education/

To talk to someone about child sexual abuse or any abuse, or for support as a family member or friend to someone who has experienced sexual abuse, please go to: http://somesecrets.info/links/


3 Comments

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

So Many Kids and So Many Parents Uneducated in Body Safety

We had a beautiful day here in Melbourne on Sunday. The sun was out, the sky was blue and the grass was green — littered with families picnicking in the magnificent Botanical Gardens. My husband and I wandered the shady paths, taking in all the joy. We even visited the children’s garden — I just love how it has been designed; everything being the perfect size for children!

As I looked over the happy families enjoying the very best of Melbourne spring weather, I could not help but think of the statistics we know to be true. One in 5 girls and 1 in 8 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday (Pereda et al, 2009). 85% of children will know their perpetrator (NSW Commission for Children & Young People, 2009). We also know the most vulnerable age for children to be exposed to sexual abuse is between 3 and 8 years (Browne & Lynch, 1994). As we wandered around the gardens taking in the joyful atmosphere, I did wonder how many of these caring and devoted parents had talked to their kids about Body Safety. How many of them had begun this very important and empowering conversation. I'm sure the majority had talked to their kids about stranger danger, water safety and road safety; but sadly, I suspect most had not talked to their kids about Body Safety.

Yet, the statistics would indicated that their child is more likely to be sexually abused by a family member or close acquaintance than break a limb, drown or be run over. In my mind, I was wishing ... if only all these adults, so kindly caring for their little ones, had come to hear me talk about Body Safety. What if they were all gathered to learn how they could teach their child about safe and unsafe touch. What if I was here to pass on what I know about Body Safety Education; and what if I was here to educate the community about grooming and how important it is to believe a child if they disclose sexual abuse. Imagine how many children might be saved from the devastating, life-long effects of childhood sexual abuse. Looking around these families, the sunny day dimmed for me — so many kids, so many parents and so so many uneducated in Body Safety. Please help me and other advocates by sharing what you know about Body Safety with other families. A child’s life may well depend on it.

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

Could YOU tell a stranger about your last sexual encounter?

Well… this is EXACTLY what we expect children who have been sexually abused to do! Once (and if) they find the enormous amount of courage to tell a trusted adult (such as a parent or teacher), they will then be expected to relate the sexual abuse to the police. Could you do that? Could you tell a stranger about your last sexual encounter? And would a child even have the vocabulary to do this?

 

Many in the community uneducated in Body Safety Education (www.somesecrets.info) often ask me, ‘Why don’t children just tell if they are being sexually abused?’ In fact, a very prominent radio shock jock, John Laws [http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/broadcaster-john-laws-shocks-again-in-career-of-controversy/story-fni0fiyv-1227271652955], insensitively did just that to a brave 80-year-old survivor who phoned in to tell his story of sexual abuse as a child. The poor man was bullied by Laws and basically told to just get over it! This kind of uneducated and insensitive reaction does not help survivors to come forward.

Let’s take a closer look at why children don’t and often can’t tell. There are a multiple of complex reasons why not but here is what I know.

1. As stated previously, most children don’t have the actual vocabulary to tell what has happened to them. If uneducated in Body Safety, they won’t know the correct names for their body parts and will not be able to express exactly what happened to them.

2. The perpetrator has told them no-one will believe them. End of story. And the child is so unempowered he or she believes the abuser without question.

3. The perpetrator has threatened the child with horrific consequences if they tell, such as killing their pet, killing their parents, abusing their sibling, that they will be responsible for breaking up the family, etc. The list of terrifying threats is cruel and endless.

4. Most adults will not believe a child’s disclosure. A child has to tell three adults before they are believed. (Aust. Childhood Foundation, 2010)

5. The child is embarrassed because they think they are willing participant in the abuse and the perpetrator will only be encouraging this perspective, especially if the child’s body reacted to the sexual touch. The child, sadly, believes the abuse to be their fault. (Note: tragically, many adult survivors still believe this.)

6. And if the child is brave enough to tell an adult that they are being sexually abused, and that adult does not believe them, than chances are the child will never tell again.

7. The abuser has told the child that the sexual touch is loved-based and that this is what you do when you love someone. They may even show their victim child exploitation material to prove that this kind of sexual touch is normal between children and adults. A child, uneducated in Body Safety, has no idea that the sexual abuse is wrong.

8. What we’re asking a child to do is to tell a stranger about their last sexual encounter. Could you do that? It takes an incredible amount of bravery to disclose. Adults find it difficult. How would it be for a child?

 

The bottom line is there are many complex reasons why a child or adult may never disclose sexual abuse. My advice to educators, parents and carers is to educate your child in Body Safety Education from a very young age. An educated child will know from the first inappropriate touch that it is wrong, and to tell a trusted adult straight away and to keep on telling until they are believed. And PLEASE educate yourself and your community. The path a child’s life may take can literally depend upon it.

 

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's book on safe and unsafe touch 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept' and her new book ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to www.somesecrets.info

'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept' now available on Amazon in 7 seven languages.

'Body Safety Education — A parents' guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse' is now available at: http://somesecrets.info/buy-body-safety-education/

To talk to someone about child sexual abuse or any abuse, or for support as a family member or friend to someone who has experienced sexual abuse, please go to: http://somesecrets.info/links/

 

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

Who Is Responsible for Keeping Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse?

Some advocates believe it is solely an adult’s responsibility to protect children from sexual abuse. While I totally agree that adults must:

  1. Educate the child in their care in Body Safety Education
  2. Become educated themselves in:
    • grooming techniques used by perpetrators
    • statistics on child sexual abuse
    • the signs that a child is being sexually abused
    • what to do if a child discloses
  3. Believe a child when they disclose
  4. Educate the wider community in the importance of protecting children from sexual abuse
  5. Let friends, family and those who come in contact with their child know that their child is educated in Body Safety and to respect their boundaries…

...I also believe that by educating your child in Body Safety you are reducing the risk of them becoming a target of sexual abuse, i.e. as an empowered child who knows not to keep secrets and has been educated to tell, in all probability, is less likely to be targeted by an abuser who relies heavily on a child to keep ‘the secret’.

In my opinion, a child who knows:

  1. The correct anatomical names for their private parts and is comfortable using those terms
  2. That their body is their body and no-one has the right to touch it
  3. Not to keep secrets that make them feel bad and uncomfortable
  4. The names of five adults that they trust and can tell anything to
  5. If some-one does touch their private parts or touches their body in a way that makes them feel unsafe, they can yell out ‘Stop!’ or ‘No!’ and immediately tell a trusted adult and keep on telling until they are believed…

 

... is indeed an empowered child. Let’s be honest. Our children cannot be with us 24/7. Fact. They will go on camps, they will be invited to sleepovers and they will visit family and friend’s homes. 95% of children who are sexually abused know their perpetrator (Child Protection Council, 1993). They can be groomed and abused right under an unaware and uneducated adult’s nose.

I do understand that very young children find it incredibly difficult to say, ‘No’ to an adult or older child. I do get that. And in fact, in an ideal world they should never have that responsibility. And we, as adults need to be vigilant to the grooming techniques of perpetrators. But as your child becomes older, they will leave the safety of your nest and, sadly, they may have to implement the Body Safety Education they have been taught from a young age. One hopes they never have too, but look at it this way, isn’t it better they wear a safety belt rather than rely on an adult driving the car slowly and carefully. A safety belt is there just in case.

Therefore, yes… it is an adult’s responsibly to educate a child in Body Safety and to educate themselves, but it is also in the child’s best interest to arm them with crucial Body Safety knowledge just in case we are not there to protect them… as I always say ... Forewarned is forearmed!

 

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's book on safe and unsafe touch 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept' and her new book ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to www.somesecrets.info

'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept' now available on Amazon in 7 seven languages.

'Body Safety Education — A parents' guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse' is now available at: http://somesecrets.info/buy-body-safety-education/

To talk to someone about child sexual abuse or any abuse, or for support as a family member or friend to someone who has experienced sexual abuse, please go to: http://somesecrets.info/links/

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

Christmas Body Safety Hints

As XMAS is not far away and children will be on school holidays, please keep the following in mind.
1. ENSURE your child is educated in Body Safety. That is:
* They know their body is their body and no-one has the right to touch it .
• They have 5 trusted adults on their Safety Network.
• They know never to keep secrets that make them feel bad or uncomfortable.
• They know to tell a person on their Safety Network if someone does touch their private parts, asks them to touch their private parts and/or shows them pictures of private parts, and to keep on telling until they are believed.
2. BE WATCHFUL of who your child spends time with. If your child is not willing to go with certain people or does not wish to hug or kiss them — listen and respect their wishes.
3. EVEN though it will be busy amongst the happy celebrations, be aware of any out-of-characteristic changes in your child’s behavior.
4. BE PROUD that your child is educated in Body Safety and display this poster on the fridge to let everyone (including potential predators) know of this fact!  http://somesecrets.info/be-loud
5. READ 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'No Means No!' and 'My Body! What I Say Goes!' at the beginning of the holiday period and discuss the books/questions with your child.
6. COLOUR and discuss the 'No! Means No!’ poster with you childand share the free posters at www.e2epublishing.info/posters/
7. READ any of my Blogs at http://somesecrets.info/blog/ They are all useful and informative as is my parent guide ‘Body Safety Education'.
8. ENJOY the holiday season with you child and family but… keep your parent radar on alert!
9. PLEASE add any other hints you can think of in the comments for other parents/carers to be aware of.
10 Have a very MERRY XMAS! And please think about committing to educating kids and the community in Body Safety in 2017!
Much love Jayneen Sanders xx

 

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education and respectful relationships both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’, ‘My Body! What I say Goes!’, ‘No Difference Between Us’, and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=jayneen+sanders

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

I Am ANGRY About Child Sexual Abuse!


I am angry!

And I need you to be angry with me. I need — we need — societal outrage to stop the sexual abuse of children. We need caring adults to say, ‘Enough!’

shutterstock_116263561.jpg

Our fear of this topic is nothing compared to the fear of the 1 in 3 girls and the 1 in 6 boys who are sexually abused before their 18th birthday (Aust. Institute of Criminology, 1993). If this topic makes you feel uncomfortable… well imagine how a sexually abused child feels. I challenge you to look this crime directly in the eye and help me, and others like me, to stop this hideous violation of our children. If the general public continue to do nothing, the predators win. They win because of our fear. And they will continue to rape children.

And let’s get this straight; child sexual abuse is rape — over days, weeks and years. Small children endure this — terrified with pain and fear. A fear I can’t even imagine — every night… waiting to be violated. Their innocence and trust stolen, and none of it their doing. They are children. Their future lives can be taken literally through suicide, and figuratively through anxiety, depression, ongoing health issues, and simply not living the life they were meant to live. And one of the saddest parts of all of this, is that a child is most often violated by someone they loved and trusted. 85% of children know their abuser (NSW Commission of Children & Young people, 2009). It is rarely a stranger.

John Grisham was wrong when he said recently,

“We have prisons now filled with guys my age, 60-year-old white men, in prison, who've never harmed anybody (and) would never touch a child, but they got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons and went too far and got into child porn. ... They deserve some type of punishment, but 10 years in prison?”

There is no such thing as ‘child porn’ — it is child exploitation material; where every scene is a crime scene. Those viewing it are viewing crimes against children and are therefore partaking in it. And one does not ‘chance’ upon such material. Children will continue to be raped to fuel this industry. Those who view child exploitation material are not blameless.

I need you to get angry! Children need adults like you to stop this hideous crime. Ask for Body Safety Education in your local childcare centres, kindergartens and schools, and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Be like that annoying mosquito in a dark room — small but causing havoc. Children worldwide are relying on you and me to speak up for them and to protect them. They need us to get angry! Tomorrow may be too late. :(

 

Jayneen Sanders is a teacher, author, mother of three and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jayneen’s children’s book on safe and unsafe touch: 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept' go to www.somesecrets.info

For a detailed blog on Body Safety Education go to: http://somesecrets.info/blog/2014/5/9/protect-your-child-from-sexual-abuse

'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept' is available on Amazon in 7 seven languages. http://www.amazon.com/Jayneen-Sanders/e/B00BDCGZ1W/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

4 Comments

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.