Continuing the Conversation Blog
4 Things Perpetrators Don't Want Fathers to Know
Monday, June 13, 2016
I was just four years old when a teenage hired-hand attempted to molest me. I got away, ran to my daddy and told him--everything. My father made three important choices for me that summer day: he listened to me, he believed me, and he took action. I was one of the fortunate ones. I had a childhood.
But here are the current statistics:
1 out of every 4 girls and 1 out of every 6 boys will be sexually violated by age 18.
90 to 95 percent of those violated will be violated by someone they know and trust.
I believe in fatherhood. I believe you can minimize the risk of childhood sexual abuse for your children by building a bridge of communication regarding this issue.
Because of my father’s actions, I am not a statistic. Your actions can help you protect your children too.
Here are 4 things you can do:
1. Trade the word secrets for surprises in your family.
Why? Because children love secrets and so do perpetrators. Instead of planning a surprise party for grandpa where we keep secrets from him, plan a surprise party for grandpa where we plan surprises to tell him at his party. It’s a subtle change with a big impact.
Perpetrators target children who can be convinced to keep a secret. A perpetrator must convince your child to keep a secret in order to have any power over your child.
2. Allow your children to practice saying NO to hugging and kissing.
Why? Because children are concrete thinkers. If we don’t step in and let our kids practice body boundaries and say no to grandma and grandpa, how will they understand that they can say NO to others? If we force our children to hug and kiss on command, they will hug and kiss on command and there are people we don’t want our children to hug and kiss.
Perpetrators target children who don’t understand body boundaries and who aren’t empowered to say NO.
3. Teach your children the proper names for their body parts and that no one is allowed to touch them where their swimsuit covers.
Why? Because children are great at taking our emotional temperatures. If we call a nose a nose, but create silly names for their private parts, our children sense it. We send a strong message to our kids. “You can tell me if your nose hurts, but private parts . . . we don’t talk about that stuff.” And telling our kids that no one is allowed to touch them where their swimsuit covers gives children a clear boundary.
Perpetrators target children who have no knowledge of their bodies, who don’t feel the freedom to communicate clearly regarding their bodies to a trusted adult.
4. Use our FREE resources at RiseAndShineMovement.org. On our website, we have a book on video for girls, Ana’s Song, and a book for boys, Bobby Gilliam, Brave and Strong (to be released on video in September 2016). Our stories and discussion questions will help you build a bridge of communication with your children regarding sexual abuse.
Why? Because children learn best through story.
I have heard it said that children listen to mother’s words, but they hear their father’s words.
Why? Perhaps because mothers generally use more words than fathers, women are generally more verbal than men. So kids get used to mamas being mamas and communicating the way mamas do. But when a father steps in, uses his voice, his eye contact, his gentleness, his influence, he’s heard in a fresh new way.
And perpetrators don’t like those kind of fathers.
Download a FREE PDF copy of this post HERE.
Carolyn Byers Ruch is the founder of Rise and Shine Movement and author of the children’s books, Ana’s Song (formerly Rise And Shine) and Bobby Gilliam Brave and Strong, both tools for the prevention of childhood sexual abuse. She has spent the past ten years championing the issue of childhood sexual abuse and has received training certificates from some of the leading organizations dedicated to protecting children. A former teacher and mother of seven, her life has been enriched through adoption and foster care.
Would your child keep a
secret from you?
Get our FREE video:
What If? Conversation Starters
or never miss a post!
We're moms, just like you, who want to help parents protect their kids from childhood sexual abuse.
You may also like...
"If," a Poem for Prevention
Monday, November 15, 2021
She's Already Won the Gold
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Talking to Our Kids about Sex and Sexual Abuse. It's More Than Just the Facts.
Monday, February 22, 2021
When Your Nothing Is Everything
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Children Know the World Is...
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
“Kissing Cousins:" What Mr. Rogers and Daniel Tiger Taught About Sexual Abuse Prevention
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
So, What About Sleepovers?
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
How to Teach Our Children about Sex While We Are Still Their Heroes
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
How to Protect Our Special Needs Children from Sexual Abuse
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
What If My Child Won’t Talk to Me?
Saturday, June 23, 2018
THANK YOU for donating to Rise and Shine Movement's 5th Annual Stuffed Animal Drive
Thursday, May 24, 2018
One Essential Parenting Decision You Will Never Regret
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Rise and Shine Movement's 5th Annual Stuffed Animal Drive
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Processing the Larry Nassar Childhood Sexual Abuse Case
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Confident Parenting In A "Me, Too" World
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Are You and Your Children Free To Be?
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Three Questions Matt Lauer Should Ask His Children
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
When You Catch Your Child “Playing Doctor”
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Blush-free Family Movie Nights
Friday, July 14, 2017
How You Can Build a Relationship with Your Son by Talking about Porn
Thursday, April 27, 2017
The Day an Innocent Search Turned Up an Image My Son Can’t Erase: 5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe
Thursday, April 20, 2017
How to Speak about Porn and Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Child
Thursday, April 13, 2017
How You Can Help Protect Your Son's Innocence By Talking About Pornography
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Will Your Son Know What To Do When Someone Shows Him Porn?
Friday, March 31, 2017
Do Your Children Love Our Stories?
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Why It’s Good for Your Child to Hurt: A Lesson from a Sexual Abuse Survivor
Saturday, January 7, 2017
A New Website, A New Video -- Our gifts to you!
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Two Fearless Questions to Ask Your Child After a Playdate
Thursday, June 23, 2016
April Awareness Month Wrap Up
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Tip Four for Protecting Your Kids from Sexual Abuse (April 2016 Sexual Abuse Awareness Campaign)
Monday, April 25, 2016
Tip Three for Protecting Your Kids from Sexual Abuse (April 2016 Sexual Abuse Awareness Campaign)
Monday, April 18, 2016
Tip Two for Protecting Your Kids from Sexual Abuse (April 2016 Sexual Abuse Awareness Campaign)
Monday, April 11, 2016
Tip One for Protecting Your Kids from Sexual Abuse (April 2016 Sexual Abuse Awareness Campaign)
Monday, April 4, 2016
2016 Stuffed Animal Drive Underway!
Thursday, March 31, 2016
The Winner Is (Our Bobby Gilliam Book Giveaway)
Monday, February 1, 2016
It's a Bobby Gilliam Book Giveaway!
Monday, January 25, 2016
Why Should I Talk To My Kids About Porn?
Friday, January 22, 2016
Prevention Strategies Around the Holidays
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Your Best Defense Against Childhood Sexual Abuse
Friday, September 18, 2015
Could Josh Duggar Be Your Son? Four Things You Need to Know
Friday, May 22, 2015
Measuring Success for CSA Awareness
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Is Your Child's Summer Camp Safe? Three Questions You Should Ask
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
What If Question Four
Monday, April 27, 2015
Bear Drive Huge Success in 2014
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
What If Question Three
Monday, April 20, 2015
What If Question Two
Monday, April 13, 2015
Protecting Our Kids from Sexual Abuse
Thursday, April 9, 2015
What If Question One
Monday, April 6, 2015
What If Conversation Starters
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
How Moms Can Make A Difference
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Children Don't Tell Because They Protect
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Children Don't Tell Because They Trust
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Children Don't Tell Because They Love
Monday, September 29, 2014
When a Story and a Calling Converge
Thursday, September 25, 2014