In Child Sexual Abuse, Strangers Aren’t the Greatest Danger

Parents generally teach their children about “stranger danger” from an early age, telling them not to talk to, walk with or take gifts or candy from strangers.  But statistics show danger often lurks closer to home.  According to numbers provided by the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, the vast majority of children who are sexually abused are abused by someone they know — most often a family member, an adult the family trusts or, in some instances, another child.

Parents can help protect their children from sexual abuse by talking frankly to them about abuse, starting at a young age with age-appropriate information.

“It’s essential that parents have a continuing conversation with their children about sexual abuse,” said Kay Knaff, clinical services program manager for Youth Villages, a private nonprofit organization that helps children with emotional, behavioral and mental health issues, as well as children who have been abused or neglected.  “This may seem hard to do, but it’s the best way to protect your child.  It’s best to start talking to your children about child abuse as early as age 3 or 4.”

Parents should talk to their children about inappropriate touching and other forms of child abuse, and make sure their children know what behavior is right and what is wrong. In addition, Knaff said parents should teach children to say “no” to their abuser if they can, try to get away from the abuser and/or call for help so other people become aware of the situation.

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I thought this was good article.  How things have changed from the 1960’s, you wouldn’t confide in a teacher or counselor, nor do I believe there were Child Abuse Hotlines, and from what happened to me, my parents were oblivious to this whole sexual abuse thing.  When I finally did “tell” about the neighbor, I think they were more concerned or embarrassed about how it would look.  Nice outcome; I have to apologize and mum doesn’t even take me to a doctor. 

This is a repost, and now through therapy, I’m discovering the reason for the lack of empathy and comfort; I was raised by a narcissistic mother.  Makes sense.

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6 thoughts on “In Child Sexual Abuse, Strangers Aren’t the Greatest Danger

  1. breakingsarah says:

    Yup – in my case it was my brother and father. There were instances where someone could have noticed something, should have noticed something, could have stopped it if they had just spoken up or questioned me.


  2. La Quemada says:

    Like you, I’m glad that things have changed enough that the emphasis is on protecting children and talking openly, rather than pretending nothing happened and not wanting to upset the abusers by confronting them. My therapist says she believes there will be fewer people seeking therapy for abuse in the future–I hope she is right!


    • cherished79 says:

      I really hope so too. In my day back in the ’50’s, no one breathed a word about sexual abuse, and of course, my narcissistic mother didn’t want to deal with it with never showing any kind of empathy, so I was left on my own. There were no teachers, counsellors or anyone, and I don’t even know when they started therapy for children with PTSD, possibly not until the ’90’s? Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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