Keeping children safe

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Child sexual abuse

Child sexual abuse

Sadly, sexual abuse of children is common across many cultures and communities and rates in Australia continue to rise.11

Children are usually abused by someone they know, even relatives and family friends. 

All kids of all ages and genders are at risk.

Most abusers pay special attention to the child and ‘groom’ them until a normal, friendly relationship can be manipulated into a sexual one. 

We can learn from stories of adult survivors of child sexual abuse.

They say that as a child, they didn’t tell anyone of the abuse because they were too scared.

The abuser would threaten harm to them or their family, or the child felt there was no-one they could trust to talk to. The child also believed that they were somehow responsible for being abused. 12, 13

When parents take the lead and talk about bodies, listen to children’s worries and respect their concerns, they are showing their kids that it’s safe to come to them.

What is child sexual abuse?

Child sexual abuse is when an adult or someone older or bigger uses a child for their own sexual pleasure. It includes many different activities such as: 

  • sexual touching of the child or adult 
  • oral sex, vaginal or anal penetration 
  • indecent exposure 
  • exposing children to sexual acts or pictures 
  • enticing children to engage in sexual internet chat (e.g. through games).

Rather than just expecting my daughter to give her a hug, my friend always asks, “Would you like a hug?”. I love this really simple way of teaching consent.

Parent of girl 7