I Said No! A Resource to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse

Guest Blogger, Kimberly King 

It is imperative that we start talking about sex education and sexual abuse prevention more seriously. It is an essential tool for prevention. Helping kids set healthy boundaries for their private parts can be a daunting and awkward task for parents, counselors, and educators.

Written from a kid’s point of view, I Said No! makes this task a lot easier. To help Zack cope with a real-life experience he had with a “friend,” he and his mom wrote a book to help prepare other kids to deal with a range of problematic situations. I Said No! uses kid-friendly language and illustrations to help parents and concerned adults give kids guidance they can understand, practice, and use.

  • One of a kind, unique book created for kids and shared in a kids voice
  • Told from a child’s perspective, based on a real-life kid story
  • Full of real-life kid scenarios that your child may encounter
  • Presented in kid language that provides comfort on a tough topic
  • Using a simple, direct, decidedly “non-icky” approach that doesn’t dumb down the issues involved, as well as an easy-to-use system to help kids rehearse and remember appropriate responses to help keep them safe.
  • How and where to go for help, and what to do if the people you’re turning to for help don’t listen
  • Dealing with feelings of guilt and shame
  • The body boundaries and rules about private parts
  • How to use colors to identify feelings and listen to them
  • Guided “what if? Scenario training for kids and parents to rehearse
  • Developing a family safety plan
  • Practicing the Think, Say, Do plan
  • How to handle the new online threat of pornography and dangerous people
  • How to identify red flag situations, feelings, and people. A solid education on healthy sexual development paired with sexual abuse prevention strategies will prepare your children as the develop and grow. Utilizing techniques to avoid dangerous situations, implement safety plans, and understanding body boundaries and concepts will serve both boys and girls in a positive way.

The facts are astounding.

It is highly likely that you know a child who has been or is being abused.

1.     Experts estimate that 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.

2.     30% of children are abused by family members.

3.     As many as 60% are abused by people the family trusts.

4.     About 35% of victims are 11 years old or younger.

5.     Nearly 40% are abused by older or larger children.

Stranger danger is a MYTH

Research shows that the greatest risk to children doesn’t come from strangers, but from friends and family. People who abuse children look and act just like everyone else. In fact, they often go out of their way to appear trustworthy, seeking out settings where they can gain easy access to children, such as sports leagues, faith centers, clubs, and schools.

About the Author:

Kimberly King left her traditional job as a kindergarten teacher to write books for children on difficult and often emotional topics. Kimberly King is a child-development professional, certified early-childhood educator, and darkness2light.org sexual abuse prevention Stewards of Children facilitator. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood development and family studies from the University of Maine and a Master of Science degree in early childhood education. She is the author of, I Said No!, the best-selling children’s book about sexual-abuse prevention. King is the author of three kid-to-kid guides:

King lives with her family in Connecticut and is available for media trainings, interviews, school visits, and author signings.

We will be giving away a free copy to one lucky winner. Choose one or more ways to enter:

1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.

2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and tag a friend.

3. Facebook: Follow @KimberlyKingBooks and post a comment about the giveaway.

4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy.

5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @KKingBooks, tag a friend in the post.

Good Luck! The winner will be chosen on 10/20/19.

Related Articles:

Protecting Kids From Sexual Abuse

Bibliotherapy: A Gentler Approach to Understanding 

When Your Parents Divorce

 

 

Protecting Kids From Sexual Abuse

Protecting Kids

There has been a lot of discussion regarding child sexual abuse lately and the topic should continue. A recent blog post, “Why We Don’t Keep Secrets in Our House (Child Abuse Prevention)” on Denver Metro Mom’s Blog went viral and for a great reason. We need to face this unimaginable issue head on by educating ourselves, kids and the community. I have attended several workshops for both the prevention as a parent and as a supportive facilitator in a clinical setting as a child life specialist. I thought it would be helpful to share some additional resources

Teddy Bear Hopes is a wonderful blog about helping children express their emotions. Kathylee Forrester is the creator of the site and author of Patches the Bear and The Feelings Tree.

Darkness to Light has information about prevention, workshops and how to become a facilitator.

A very good friend and colleague of mine, Deb Vilas just wrote a post about Child Abuse Prevention on her blog PediaPlay.com last week. Read her amazing tips below.

BodySafetyBook

Today, I am writing on one of the topics I had in mind when I set up this website – advice for child life specialists, but my hope is that it will be helpful for teachers and caregivers as well. A wise man, Jon Luongo, advised me that I have a great deal of writing material squirreled away in the posts I have been making to the Child Life Forum for a number of years. Today I responded to a request on the Forum for information and resources regarding running a workshop for parents/caregivers on child abuse prevention. Below is the gist of my response.

If I were to lead such a workshop on prevention, I imagine including the following:

  • small amount of developmental content – info about how children think and feel at different ages
  • Just a few statistics about types of abuse frequency, who are the perpetrators, etc. in order to dispel some myths.
  • A short text-light and image-heavy brief powerpoint
  • A read-aloud of a great children’s book. I suggest reviewing any books cover to cover for appropriateness (consider culture, developmental stage of child, gender, any hints of blaming a child) before recommending them.
  • The most important piece of the workshop would be the discussion that follows.

I have always gone back and forth in my mind about the importance of teaching kids how to say “this is my body”, being measured against the reality that children are not mini adults and are extraordinarily vulnerable to the power, manipulation and threats of pedophiles. Children are taught to respect and obey adults, especially ones they know. 80% of abusers are related to or close to the child. This makes things very dicey when we want our children to feel safe and trusting in the care of adults, yet still be able to say, “No! You aren’t supposed to touch me there.”

How do we teach the parents/caregivers how to empower the child, but not frighten the child with too much information? It is vital that we refrain from setting children up to blame themselves if they are unable to prevent abuse. Discussions about power, shame and how children think at different ages can help.

When I teach Child Abuse Detection and Reporting, I start off by asking for a show of hands: Who thinks they know someone who has been abused, an adult or a child, now or in the past? I go on to share the statistics of frequency of abuse, along with some other facts. A few of these are:

  • If abuse happens to a child before a child is old enough to speak, there is no cognitive memory of it. But there may be a muscle memory or physical memory.
  • Chances are if you didn’t raise your hand, you actually doknow someone who has been abused. Stigma and shame go hand in hand with abuse, and non-reporting is common for both children and adults who look the other way because it is too awful to think about.

One of the most helpful words ever spoken to me were by Christine Low, a social worker at Mt. Sinai. “If you can’t imagine it, you will never be able to report it.” And I suppose we can add to that: “If you can’t imagine it, you will never be able to prevent it.” No one wants to think about these things happening to kids, theirs or anyone else’s. But we must imagine it if we are to protect our children.

One thing I have learned from teaching these workshops for many years is this. The more I know, the more I don’t know. These issues are a minefield of our deepest emotions, our cultural backgrounds and our life experiences. If the presenter takes an approach that reflects just how complicated this topic is, how we are incredibly influenced by our own experiences of abuse, and how there are no easy answers, she is probably on the right track. I recommend hanging back from taking the role of expert and instead taking the role of fellow explorer who has some great developmental “snacks” to share in your backpack.

For more info, go to: http://www.preventchildabuseny.org/resources/about-child-abuse/