A parents' guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse
'Body Safety Education - A parents' guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse' is a step-by-step guide for parents and carers on how to protect children from sexual abuse through personal Body Safety Education. This guide contains simple, practical and age-appropriate ideas, as well as important information on how abusers groom and signs a child maybe being sexually abused. Body Safety knowledge empowers children. It goes a long way in keeping them safe from sexual abuse, and ensuring they grow up as assertive and confident teenagers and adults. There is no downside! This book is an invaluable guide for parents, caregivers, teachers and healthcare professionals to not only learn the key steps when teaching Body Safety Education (also known as protective behaviours or child sexual abuse prevention education) but to also educate themselves in the signs a child is being sexually abused, what to do if a child bravely discloses, how a predator grooms both the family and the child, valuable organizations and links, etc. In fact, 95% of sexually abused children will know their abuser and only 5% will be strangers. As noted 'stranger danger' is not really the issue. Pedophiles and child sex abusers are in our homes and in our families. Part of Body safety Education is teaching children that they must never keep secrets that make them feel bad or uncomfortable (in fact, we teach it's best not to have secrets in families, only happy surprises). The trouble with secrets is that they are the main tool used by child molesters to ensure children remain silent about the abuse. Ensuring the secret is kept is of utmost importance to the perpetrator. Therefore, threats and insisting no-one will believe the child is used as a way of controlling the child to be silent. Through Body Safety Education parents and children will learn the importance of there being no secrets between us. Parents and carers need to be on the lookout for signs of sexual abuse in children and grooming behaviour which is often focused on themselves as well as their children. The answer to the question, 'How do I keep kids safe from sexual abuse?' is simple; teach them Body Safety Education from a very young age. Always use the correct names for their genitals, ensure they know that the parts covered by their swimsuit are known as their private parts, and that private means 'just for you', and consequently not for sharing. This is known as the swimsuit lesson. When you teach your child that 'your body belongs to you' you are empowering them with confidence through knowledge. Body Safety Education also involves teaching your child that no-one can touch their private parts, and if they do, they must tell a trusted adult until believed. Kids need to be safe as well as feel safe. Teaching a child that private means 'just for you' and that their private parts are found under their swimsuit is a valuable lesson that can prevent child molestation. The sexual abuse of children is regrettably very common. Approximately 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. You can help stop child abuse by teaching social and physical boundaries to kids and that some parts are not for sharing. A child needs be able to proclaim loudly and with conviction that, 'My body belongs to me', 'I am the boss of my body' and that 'From my head to my toes, I say what goes'. Please note: the author uses 'safe and unsafe touch' or 'inappropriate touch' as preferred terms for good and bad touch which may be confusing for a child as bad touch (inappropriate touch) can often feel good, i.e. be pleasurable and this can cause confusion for a child.
Jayneen (aka Jay Dale) is an experienced early years educator, author and publisher. She started her teaching career in the 1980s as a primary school teacher in rural Australia. She then moved to Melbourne and taught at a number of inner-city schools. In 1985, Jay had a change of career and became an educational editor and publisher. In the early 90s, Jay and her partner moved to Japan to work as English teachers. They lived and worked in Japan for over three and a half years. In fact, Jay's first daughter was born there. On returning to Australia, Jay began work as an educational author/packager. Since that time, she has authored and produced numerous award-winning titles for the educational publishing industry. Jay is also an accomplished children's book author, writing a number of titles for such literacy series as ZigZags, Totally Kidz, Deadly and Incredible, and a children's picture book series for Penguin. She is currently working with an educational publisher as lead author of a literacy series. Jay has written over 100 titles in that series. Jay is a mother of three daughters and was a school councillor at her local school for over seven years. This time spent in schools both as a teacher and a parent inspired her to ask the question of her community: 'What are we doing in schools to protect our children from unsafe touch?' When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to use her authoring and publishing skills to write Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up. After the encouraging response to Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept, she realised there was a need to further build upon the idea of children not keeping secrets about unsafe touch. Jay participated in Protective Behaviours professional development and attended numerous conferences on the topic to educate herself in how to keep children safe and provide them with prevention education. Jay then went on to develop and publish a comprehensive Body Safety and Respectful Relationship Teacher's Resource Kit as well as writing several more children's books on the topics of Body Safety, consent, respect, body boundaries and gender equality. Jay's ongoing passion for the safety and empowerment of children continues today with new manuscripts and free-to-download Body Safety resources always in the wings.