What parents need to know about child protection

Categories: Safety

Have you ever made your child kiss a family member goodbye when they don’t want to?

Does your child know the correct, English-language names for their body parts?

Do you know what to say if a child tells you they’ve been sexually abused?

If any of these questions made you pause, you’re not alone.

As parents, we hear the facts about child sexual abuse and we are scared.

Up to one third of children will suffer some form of sexual abuse before their eighteenth birthday.

Children with special needs are up to 7 times more likely to be sexually abused than kids in mainstream. 

96% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone known to the child, and about half of all sexual abuse is teenager to child, or child to child.

These are some pretty alarming statistics.

But, we can’t control the behaviour of others, and we can’t keep our kids locked away for their entire childhoods.

So, what do we do? How do we keep our children safe?

Holly-ann Martin, Managing Director of Safe4Kids, has been working in the field of child abuse prevention and child protection education for many years and has come to a pretty simple conclusion in this time: Education. Children need early, comprehensive sexual education. They need to know that they own their bodies. Consent needs to be explicitly taught and modelled, and parents need to know how to teach it. 

That’s what ParentTV is here for. 

We have put together a watch list of some important videos from Holly-ann Martin with practical guidance on how to educate and empower your kids to help protect them from sexual abuse.

After all, knowledge is power, for us and them.

What parents need to know about child protection - safety team

WATCH VIDEO: How to help your children build a network of safe people

Who could your child turn to if they felt unsafe and you weren’t there? Here’s how to teach kids who their safety team is, and why they need one.

What parents need to know about child protection - pornography

WATCH VIDEO: Why do I need to talk to my six-year-old about pornography?

8 of the 7 year-olds in one Australian classroom that Holly-ann visited had already seen pornography online, and many of them hadn’t told their parents.

What parents need to know about child protection - teaching consent to kids

WATCH VIDEO: Teaching kids about consent

Understanding consent can be tricky for kids, but it’s also essential. Does your child know they have autonomy and rights over their own bodies?