Protecting your child from sexual abuse - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Protecting your child from sexual abuse

Parents need to have open discussions about child abuse with their children (Source: MGNOnline) Parents need to have open discussions about child abuse with their children (Source: MGNOnline)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The National Children's Advocacy Center Executive Director, Chris Newlin said there are some safety measures parents can take but they can't protect their children 100 percent of the time.

He said parents can prevent some abuse from happening by providing good oversight and keeping an open line of communication. 

For example, be very direct about sex abuse.

Make sure your child knows where they shouldn't be touched.

Also try to avoid using nicknames when you talk about body parts.

He says just normalize the conversation and talk to them about it around 3 or 4 years old.

"We talk about don't cross the street without looking both ways, don't put your hand on the stove because that's about protecting the children. We're very direct and that's the same thing we need to do with the issue of child abuse, we need to be very direct about it, very open about it," said Newlin.

Not every child speaks up about sexual abuse.

Kids display different signs. Some show anger others isolate themselves from people. So there just isn't one sign to look out for.

Younger children may have issues with sleeping and using the bathroom.

Older children may avoid going around certain people and isolate themselves from groups and activities.

They'll also show emotional issues, like depression or lash out often and be angry.

However, Newlin said when it comes to teenagers tale-tale signs can be tricky

"Very often times with adolescents it's hard to determine if they're being an adolescent or did something happen. You can't look at it and know. It's all about the dialogue, you can't just say well I'm going to watch, you have to have dialogue throughout the child's life."

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