Here you go – the magic words you need so you can talk to your kids about this shitty part of life. These scripts are just to get you started as this is an ongoing conversation you need to have with your youngsters.
A note of caution: if you were sexually abused as a child please do not revel this to your children until they are older (17+) and can handle the information. I believe children do not want or need to hear about our childhood traumas. They need to see us as whole and healthy and when you talk about your childhood trauma it can be very scary and upsetting to them because they do not have the emotional or mental capacity to handle this information.
WHAT TO SAY
If your child does not know about sex, then don’t say “sexual abuse” just skip it.
Sometimes adults and even other kids will try to touch kids in their private areas to make themselves feel good. This is called sexual abuse. The adults who do this know it’s wrong and sometimes the kids do too, but not always. These are tricky people who will try to get kids to do things that are against our family rules.
Please tell me or another safe adult if someone tries to touch you this way. You won’t be in trouble and we will find help for the other person.
If sexual abuse ever happens to you, it’s important to know that it isn’t your fault. It’s never the kids’ fault and if you tell someone, they will make sure the person who is doing the abuse gets help. If that person doesn’t believe you, keep telling until someone does.
Please let me know if anyone wants you to keep a secret from me. We don’t keep secrets in our family. Surprises are okay, like a birthday present or special treat. Never keep a secret that feels sad, scary or bad.
In addition to the scripts above:
Sexual abuse can be uncomfortable to talk about, but it’s really important to talk about it. I want you to be safe and need to know if something like this happens to you or to one of your friends.
If a situation feels uncomfortable, wrong or even just a tiny bit strange to you, please tell me. It’s better to follow up on those feelings than to ignore them. You might get an “uh-oh!” feeling in your belly. Pay attention to this when it happens. It’s your intuition telling you something isn’t right.
Can you think of a time you were doing something and you had this kind of “uh-oh” feeling? I remember one time when…[tell a tale of when you ignored your intuition].
For more information about sexual behavior in children, child sexual abuse and red flags in adults and kids, check out www.stopitnow.org.