A hot topic in the news lately has been “rape culture” and
“locker room talk,” and the staff at Great Plains Women’s Health Center wanted
to touch on a slightly difficult topic- sexual assault. Sexual assault is far too common in today’s
world, and it is important to teach girls and boys what to watch out for, and
how to be prepared for a scary situation.
Be involved- Staying active in your child’s life
will not only help you remain close to your child as he or she grows, but you
will also be able to more easily identify dangerous situations or people more
quickly. Get to know your child’s
friends, their families, teachers, caregivers, coaches, etc.
Be open and available- talk openly (age
appropriately, of course) with your child about sexual assault and what signs
to watch out for. Teach them how to
identify dangerous scenarios and how to get out of situations they don’t feel
Be aware of the signs- physical warning signs
such as bleeding, bruises, pain, itching or burning in the genital regions,
difficulty walking and sitting can all indicate sexual abuse or assault.
Behavioral signs include self-harm, phobias, regressive behaviors, suicidal
thoughts, depression, overly protective of siblings, nightmares, bed-wetting,
changes in hygiene, and more.
Be responsive- if you suspect your child is
being assaulted or abused, don’t wait to report it. Get help, get your child help, and make the
situation end immediately.
Be an example- Teach your child how to stand up
for him or herself by standing up for yourself and others. Be mindful of the words, phrases, values and
attitudes you use and hold, your child is always watching and always