Approximately 1.8 million adolescents in the United States
have been the victims of sexual assault. 1
This is a sensitive subject, but one that should be discussed with your child using language that they can understand and that does not frighten them.
All of the tips on abduction apply, but it is important that you have a better understanding of these types of “tricky people” to equip your child to be able to spot potential dangers.
When it comes to physical self-defense, your kids will learn to “fight back” in a quality martial arts program. However, a predator will often use manipulation instead of force choosing “easy” victims that they can “groom” over time.
According to Joelle Casteix, the author of ‘Well Armored Child’ and survivor of sexual abuse,
“Grooming a child is hard work that can take months, so predators are far less likely to target the child who knows
1) That secrets between adults and children are wrong,
2) The proper biological names of their body parts and
3) NO ONE is to touch or take pictures of their genitals (and they are not to touch other people's)"
What is an easy victim?
Predators seek children with low levels of confidence, shaky or unstable relationships with their parents, and kids who otherwise feel incomplete. Just as with any “bad guy/girl”, the stereotype is that they wear trench coats and dark glasses. In reality, and the sad thing is that victims often love their abusers.
Here are some of the warning signs of grooming:
The predator gives lots of attention to the child.
They shower them with gifts.
They get the child to keep secrets between the two of them.
The predator will try to find excuses to be alone with your child.
The predator will blur the boundaries of what is and isn’t appropriate by giving long hugs, tickling, back rubs, etc.
Confidence and poise go a long way in keeping your child safe, and martial arts can complement the parents’ role in building their confidence. Take time to learn some more tips on safeguarding your kids against this type of crime.
For more information, go to www.rainn.org
If you believe someone to be in trouble, please contact your local authorities.
SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!
1. Kilpatrick, D., R. Acierno, B. Saunders, H. Resnick, C. Best, and P. Schnurr, “National Survey of Adolescents,” Charleston, SC: Medical University of South Carolina, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, 1998.