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