Unfortunately, nowadays ANY child is at risk of sexual abuse, even at the place we all consider the safest, school!
Child sexual abuse is rarely discussed openly and seldom prosecuted. We either avoid the subject altogether and keep our fingers crossed, or we become very overprotective and try to wrap our children in so much cotton wool that they are not given the skills to protect themselves.
According to the National Center for Motherhood and Childhood’s report, 1000 cases of child rape occurred in Egypt during 2015. That’s a stark reality!
Now that these horrifying crimes found their way for the first time into private schools -after the recent case in Future British school- we can’t put off the evil day anymore. We need to stand up and be counted.
Hoping… denying…. pretending…. that this can’t happen to your child is not lowering your child’s risk of being sexually abused, and it does not prepare them to get help quickly and effectively if the worst does happen.
Arm your children with knowledge that might keep them safe, you might find these tips of use:
1. Teach your child about body boundaries
Let your child know that no one has the right to touch them or make them feel uncomfortable. Explain that only mommy and daddy can see them naked, but other people should only see them with their clothes on. Explain how their doctor can see them without their clothes because mommy and daddy are there with them. Teach them that no one should touch their private parts and that no one should ask them to touch somebody else’s private parts. Don’t forget the second part of this sentence! Sexual abuse often begins with the perpetrator asking the child to touch them or someone else
2. Pay Attention to their day-to-day lives
Ask your kid about their day, what they did during the day and who they did it with. Who did they sit with at lunchtime? What games did they play after school? Did they enjoy themselves? It might sound simple, but that’s the way to get information out of a kid. Conversations.
3. Get to know the people in your child’s life
Whether it’s his teacher, his caretaker or even the nursery’s gardner; know who your child is spending time with. Ask them about the kids they go to school with, the parents of their friends. Talk about these people openly and ask questions so that your child can feel comfortable doing the same.
4. Keep an eye for any of these signs of sexual abuse
Difficulty walking or sitting
Pain or itching in the genital area
Torn, stained or bloody underclothing
Frequent complaints of stomachaches or headaches
Bruises or bleeding in external genitalia
Feeling threatened by physical contact
Inappropriate sex play or premature understanding of sex
Frequent urinary or yeast infections
5. Let them know they won’t get in trouble.
To keep a child quiet about abuse, many perpetrators use threatening remarks that scare kids from talking. Remind your child frequently that they will not get in trouble for talking to you, no matter what they need to say. When they do come to you, follow through on this promise and avoid punishing them for speaking up.
Let’s all promote the hashtag the parents of Future British school students are spreading #محاكمة_مدرسة_الفيوتشر_لاغتصاب_الاطفال because such a crime shall never go unpunished. Let’s shatter the silence.