Know The Facts – Sexual abuse is more common than people think. Approximately 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Children are often too scared, confused, or embarrassed to report sexual abuse right away, so it often continues without parents knowing about it.
Know The Facts About Perpetrators – Many parents already warn their children to be careful around strangers; however, sexual abuse is usually committed by someone that the child knows and trusts. Perpetrators are often family members or close friends of the child’s family. Perpetrators can also be older children or youth.
Take Steps To Increase Safety – Most sexual abuse occurs when a child is alone with an adult or older child. Consider minimizing situations in which your child is one–on-one with an adult (other than a parent or caregiver) or an older child. Conduct interviews, background, and reference checks when choosing a childcare provider. Drop in unannounced when other people are caring for your child.
Teach Your Child About Internet Safety. Teach your child about on-line predators who target children. Instruct them not to give out personal information or exchange photos over the internet. Teach your child that they should never take photos of their private parts. Monitor your child’s internet use and apply parental controls.
Know How To Respond To Disclosures Of Abuse. If a child discloses that abuse has occurred, always believe the child. Listen to them in a calm and supportive way. Responding emotionally may cause the child to think that you are upset with them, that they did something wrong, or that they should not have told you. Remaining calm is important. Let the child know that they did the right thing by telling you.
Always report the abuse.
• San Antonio Police Department 911 or 210.207.7273
• Bexar County Sheriff’s Department 210.335.6000
• Child Protective Services 800.252.5400
• Children’s Hospital of San Antonio 210.704.2190
• Methodist Specialty & Transplant Hospital 210.575.8168
• ChildSafe 210.675.9000