Sexual Abuse Education vs Sexual Abuse Prevention
We ABSOLUTELY MUST Educate Children About Sexual Abuse,
But It Is COMPLETELY UNFAIR to EXPECT CHILDREN to PREVENT their own Abuse!
Traditional sexual abuse programs refer to themselves as prevention programs, and by doing so, set the expectation that children can and should stop sexual abuse. That is an unfair expectation. To truly prevent something is to stop it before it happens. The only people who can prevent abuse are the perpetrators. So, prevention programs should be targeted at perpetrators, adults and teens and even society as a whole-but not children. Prevention is not the job of children. Society doesn’t expect children to prevent, or even stop, physical abuse. Programs to prevent physical abuse are targeted at adults. So, why do we expect children to prevent, or even stop, sexual abuse? That is an unreasonable expectation.
While it is unfair to EXPECT children to prevent or stop physical or sexual abuse, it is also unfair for us to fail to provide them with information, skills and an environment of openness that may help them to avoid, stop or tell about abusive experiences. It is important that the education we provide to children be presented in a way that is helpful to all children and does not inadvertently increase the feelings of guilt and shame experienced by children who have already suffered from abuse or who experiences abuse after the education is provided.
Please browse our website to learn more about what parents and society can do to help prevent sexual abuse and other victimizations as well as how to educate your children.
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