This New Dawn

Laurel Hall Author and PoetYour child comes to you and says something to the effect “Johnny touched me here, mommy, and it hurts.”  What do you do?  The first thing you should do is to stop what you are doing and listen to your child, encourage him/her to speak to you, to tell you all about it.  Give no reprisals or condemning remarks.  Just listen. 

“I didn’t want to do it, mommy.”

“It’s not your fault, honey.  Remember that.  He took advantage of you. Mommy loves you, honey” and give her a big hug.  Give the child all the reassurance you can.

Allow her to cry and comfort her.  Let her know you believe what she said.  The last thing she needs at this point is that you don’t think she is telling the truth.  She needs to know you believe her and it is not her fault.  It is also important the parent follow up with medical and psychological assistance.

Sexual abuse can have crippling effects on the social life of a child, robbing them of their childhood, causing loss of self-esteem, behavioral problems of various kinds, and more.  It is important to teach your children to respect their bodies, what is appropriate touching and what is not and teach the child to say “no” is someone begins to touch them inappropriately. 

If the perpetrator is a young neighborhood boy, speaking privately to the boys’ parents would one option.  If it is an older person it must be reported to the property authorities. 

Open communications between parents and their children is crucial.  A happy, loving home life has the greatest impact on a child’s life, forging happy memories of growing up with a family who loved them and enjoyed them as children. 

Caring for victims

Laurel Hall

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