The holidays are joyous times often packed with activities with friends and family. Although this time is meant to be celebrated, it is important to keep in mind that during the chaos of the holidays, children need more attention than ever to ensure their safety.
According to statistics, rates of every type of child abuse increase during the holidays.
During the holiday season, children are often left with babysitters, guests are welcomed into the home, sometimes staying overnight or multiple nights, and parents often have less time to pay attention to children as they prepare to host or attend get-togethers. With all this going on during the last months of the year, predators often have more opportunities to be alone with children.
How do you prevent the sexual abuse of children during the 2021 holiday season?
Discuss Boundaries with Your Child
Talk to your child about how no one has the right to touch them or take pictures of them without their permission. Teach your child to come to you, or another trusted adult, whenever someone is making them feel uncomfortable or maybe acting in an inappropriate way around them. Empowering your child with the knowledge that their feelings should be trusted and that you will listen to their concerns will help to ensure that they never stay silent about their unease around someone else.
Limit Alone Time
No one wants to be considered a helicopter parent but 80% of abuse occurs in one-on-one situations between a child and an adult. Limiting the amount of time others have with your child or telling them you will pop in during their visit will help to protect your child. Limiting time alone with other children is also important as 30% of child abuse is committed by other children.
Trust Your Instincts
Often parents do not want to suspect people they are close to of abusing their child, as they do not want to think that their friends or family members are capable of harming their child. Do not ignore the way that other adults make you or your child feel, or how your child acts around them. 90% of child abuse is perpetrated by someone you and your child know and trust. Not even your most beloved family member is exempt from suspicion.
If you are a parent and believe someone is having inappropriate interactions with your child or you are another family member who suspects abuse, please contact the authorities and allow them to investigate your suspicions. Many children who are abused never get past the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder they are left with following their abuse.
It is important to stop abuse before it ever begins and allow children to be children.
Hite and Stone, Attorneys at Law help children who have been abused at the hands of a government agency or other child care facilities.
Please contact us if you believe we may be able to help you seek justice for an abused child. We are committed to making South Carolina a better place to live and raise our families.
Serving the Upstate of South Carolina for 40 Years
Offices located in Abbeville, SC and Greenville, SC