April is Sexual Assault Awareness month. If you haven’t talked to your child about body boundaries, then today is the day. As of 2010, statistics showed that one in five children will be abused. Sadly, the ratio is probably higher today. Think of all the children you know and the children they go to school with, play team sports with, or share Sunday school class with.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau report Child Maltreatment 2010 found that 9.2% of victimized children were sexually assaulted (pg. 24). Studies by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that:
- 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
- Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
- During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
- Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
- Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.
We must take protect our children by being open and honest about this subject. Forewarned is forearmed. We have to inform our children and empower them to know what to do if they are approached, by either another child or an adult. One in five children will be abused. By having body boundaries be a part of your ongoing conversation, you are giving your child one of the greatest gifts possible—knowledge and a plan. Have that conversation today.