Child, Health and precaution

Empowering children against abuse

Empowering children against abuse

How can you strengthen a child against abuse?

According to the Federal Criminal Police Office, around 15,000 children are sexually abused every year. The number of unreported cases is probably well above this value, since not all cases are reported. In view of this frightening number of cases of abuse, the question arises as to how parents and educators can strengthen children against such attacks.

Who is the danger?

It is generally assumed that many cases of abuse are facilitated by the fact that children go with strangers. These cases also happen and it is in no way harmful to make children aware of this danger. However, the vast majority of all cases of abuse take place in the family environment. The perpetrators are either close friends of the family or even belong to the family. It is not automatically to be assumed that every perpetrator is a man of advanced age. The perpetrators can be of any age, belong to any social class and women are also possible perpetrators. In cases where the abuse is perpetrated by a family member or close friend, the victims mostly remain silent. They feel ashamed and don’t have the courage to confide in other adults. Sexual abuse by family members


Don’t go with strangers!

Nevertheless, one of the most important rules of conduct that every child should internalize is that they don’t go along with strangers. Most parents think that their child knows that this is how they are supposed to behave and that they act accordingly. But most children are gullible, they cannot imagine that anyone wants to harm them, and they sometimes forget the guiding principles given by their parents. Even in emergency situations, for example when a child gets lost, these principles can be forgotten. It is therefore extremely important that parents educate their children regularly and talk to them about possible dangers. Parents shouldn’t stir up fear for no reason or even scare their children, but a healthy mistrust can never hurt. Perpetrators often use tricks the children don’t see through to be close to them. They lure children with the promise of sweets or great toys, they talk about kittens or puppies. Some perpetrators ask for help and have them show them the way to the sports field or the supermarket, they deceive children by pretending something has happened to one of their parents and they now lead them to the hospital together.

How can parents protect their child without scaring them?

It is very important to build a trusting relationship. Show your child that you are always there, that you listen and that you trust them. All family members should talk to each other, exchange ideas and share their fears and worries. This way, your child always has someone to turn to if they have problems. This way you can also encourage your child to say “no”. Encourage discussion and teach them not to avoid arguments. In this way, it can be possible for a child to clearly say “no” to strangers if something happens that they do not agree with. It is also important that children are educated according to their age. In some elementary schools there are special prevention programs some of which can be carried out in cooperation with the police. Children learn in a playful way how to behave when someone is harassing or harassing them.

Of course, these rules can only be effective if you don’t just give them to your child, but live them. Your child can only be strong if you have an intact relationship and encourage your child’s self-confidence.


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