The real statistics of children that are sexually abused can never be known. This is because so many children that are involved never come out to say.
But an estimated guess is that 8 out of 10 female children are victims or have been near victims of child rape.
This is an alarming rate by any standard but who is going to make sure it stops.
The onus to protect our children therefore lies on us as parents and legal guardians of our children.
Although there is no foolproof method of completely stopping child abuse since most times, the person the child already has a closeness to ends up being the culprit, we can however put some precautions in place to make sure that our children's vulnerability to this menace is reduced to the barest minimum.
These are a few tips that will put you on the right path.
1. Educate your child: Don't tell your child that there are bad people who can try to do bad things to her.Tell her that there are good behaviours and bad behaviours and no matter how close a person is to her or no matter how much she loves him, if the person crosses the line into those bad behaviours, he should be stopped immediately. Of course you also have to let her know what those bad behaviours are. For example, touching her on the thigh or caressing her arm or arranging to have a secret meeting are all unacceptable behaviours.
2. Give Room For Easy Communication: Your child must be given room to easily communicate with you her parents. Build a relationship that makes it easy for your child to talk to you. Most times children are afraid to talk to their parents about these types of things because they think their parents might blame them.
Many times, child rape doesn't just happen. The accused would usually have been building up to it by maybe buying things for the child, caressing the child or trying to get close to the child in other ways. But these children, because they don't have who to tell, would keep it to themselves until the day when they would finally be raped.
If the communication lines between you and your child is open, he or she will tend to tell you things from which you can pick out tell tale signs of trouble. Sometimes the child him or herself might not even know that it means anything, but you as an adult will be able to smell trouble and nip it in the bud.
3. Make your Child Feel Valuable: In many cases, as earlier said, children are raped by someone they are familiar with. The aggressor uses a systematic and calculated psychological method to get the child to believe that they have something special together, which eventually makes it easier to attack. This is done verbally by making the child feel she is special, buying gifts, and getting the child to do or get away with things the parents would normally not allow the child to do like skipping school or eating sweets.
Children that have low self esteem are very much prone to this type of systematic cajoling.
Parents should therefore try to bring up their children in a loving environment while making sure that their child grows up with a good self esteem.
Of course this by no means covers this topic, and I for one would welcome more tips and comments that can help to protect our children from this menace of Child Abuse.