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What is the child sexual abuse? According to the 7-step guide made and published by the North American organization Darkness to Light, dedicated to the prevention and training of child sexual abuse, sexual abuse is any sexual activity with or without violence between an adult and a minor, or between two minors when one exercises power over the other.
It is also forcing, coercing or persuading a child to participate in any type of sexual activity. These definitions that apply to child sexual abuseThey also include sexual contact, although without direct contact, such as exhibitionism, exposure of minors to pornographic material, voyeurism or engaging in sexual communication over the phone or the Internet.
Child sexual abuse is a distressing and traumatic experience for victims, and a crime punishable by law.
Children's safety is the job of adults. To protect minors against any form of sexual abuse, the organization makes parents aware of some precautions and steps:
1. Know the facts and the reality
Being informed about child sexual abuse helps protect children. Experts estimate that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys can become a victim of sexual abuse before the age of 18. One in every 5 children is sexually solicited on the Internet, and the average age of complaints of sexual abuse is 9 years.
Most underage victims never report the abuse. It is very likely that you know a child sexual abuser. The greatest risk to children does not come from strangers, but from their own family and friends. Some data shows it:
- One in three children are abused by members of their family;
- Abusers or pedophiles try to establish a relationship of trust with the parents of their victims and are usually physically older and bigger than their victims.
- Abusers are frequently found in places that allow easy access to children such as the victim's own home, sports clubs, schools or religious centers.
2. You should know who you leave the child with and what they do
Learn to protect children. Most cases of child sexual abuse occur when a minor is alone with an adult.
- The abuser often befriends his victim, gaining his trust, thus managing to spend time alone with him / her.
- When you leave your child alone with another person, adult or adolescent, ensure that they can be observed.
- Encourage situations in which your child joins in groups.
- Teach by example. Avoid, if possible, being alone with a minor other than your child.
- Monitor your child's use of the Internet.
- When you sign up your child for a sports activity, a camp or something similar, find out what kind of responsibility and preparation the monitors have in caring for children. If they are prepared to prevent, identify and react to possible sexual abuse of and to minors.
- Talk to your child when you return from an activity that has adults. Pay attention to their mood and see if you can easily tell them how they spent their time.
(>>>> Part II of the article on sexual abuse >>>>)
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