Recently we took the opportunity to read "Lauren's Kingdom" by Lauren Book. Lauren Book, Founder and CEO of Lauren's Kids, is also a survivor of child sexual abuse. She took her childhood experience and provided a very relatable, appropriate yet unequivocal account which easily sparked discussion between me and my kids. The book provides a platform where children of all ages can be engaged and parents can feel comfortable asking questions about the story and then relate the information to their own family experience or self education.
95% of sexual abuse could be prevented through some means of education. This statistic is promising because there is something that can be done to protect our children. Just as you talk with your children about looking both ways before they cross the street or wearing their helmet when they get on their bicycle, you need to have continued dialogue about this with your child from the moment they understand you to the moment they walk out your door as an adult. This cannot be a one and done conversation, this must occur regularly and with more frankness as your child grows older.
Childhood memories should be filled with joy, excitement and nuance, not pain or shame. We hope that you take this opportunity to speak with your child regularly and candidly about child predators and sexual abuse. This is not a taboo topic and what's promising is that through education and honest discussion, we can each create one less statistic.