Protecting Our Children from Abuse

I have been very saddened these last few days as I have been following the news of Leon Kalnatarov , a seven-year-old boy who was murdered by young adult twins in Bnei Ayish, Israel.

According to the news, this boy visited the twins’ home often, formed a relationship with them, I suppose, and was found dead in their home a few days ago.

These twins were also reported to have exposed themselves to several children over the last few days.

Police are still investigating whether or not Leon was sexually abused before the murder.

I have a feeling that he was; if not right before, then definitely throughout this ‘relationship.’

What’s going on here?!

Why do we keep hearing about sexual abuse in the news and in our own communities?

What can we DO to stop it?

I don’t have all the answers.  I am not sure that anyone does.

I know that I believe in the power of the family system; in the power of education, and in the power of not being afraid to speak the truth.

I have been trained and given trainings on how to prevent abuse and there are a few different schools of thought out there:

There is the Good-Touch/Bad-Touch® program which teaches children how to protect themselves from sexual violence.

There is Darkness to Light organization that focuses on teaching the adults in children’s lives how to protect their children from sexual abuse.

And The Care for Kids program that focuses on teaching young children about healthy sexuality in a fun way.  The idea behind the Care for Kids program is that the more that children know about their bodies and the difference between what is healthy and unhealthy – the better the chance of them NOT becoming victims of child sexual assault.  (Interviews with abusers showed that predators ‘picked’ children that know the least about sexuality and the way bodies work.   They use that as an opportunity to ‘teach’  – read: trick – kids about what is ‘normal’ when it comes to sexuality.)

Very scary!

So, what’s the best way to help prevent sexual abuse?

Like I said before, I am not sure anyone has an answer for that, but my educated guess and gut feeling tells me to incorporate all three approaches when teaching kids about prevention.

We have to give them a voice and give them the tools to be able to say NO, GO, RUN and TELL someone.

We, the adults in our children’s lives, must become aware of the occurrence of sexual abuse and what we can do to help prevent it.

And we, the adults in our children’s lives, MUST be the one’s to teach our children about healthy sexuality, the beauty and holiness of their bodies, and when it’s okay to share our bodies and when it is NEVER okay to.

The way I see it, it all comes back to the relationship we have with our children.  A strong, healthy, open, and honest relationship is the foundation for being able to have these conversations with our children; for them to be able to tell us when something is wrong or if someone is hurting them; and for us to guide them in making healthy choices for themselves.

I intend to write a handbook for parents on how to talk to their kids in a fun (non-scary) way with their children.

Until then, on the Monday of every week, I will add a new post here on tips for how we can all build better and stronger relationships with the people in our lives – so that we can create a home, a community, and hopefully a world that is more respectful, happy, loving, and safe.

So make sure to check back every Monday to find out how you can Get R.E.A.L. in your relationships.

Get R.E.A.L.™

Respect

Encourage

Appreciate

Love…

…yourself and the people you care most about!

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8 Responses

  1. to me, it’s siimple: with the near worldwide abolishment of corporal punishment, all hell is breaking loose.

    it has been a LONG standing family value from both my parent’s sides of the family that corporal punishment DOES work; my presence with you today is proof…i had corporal punishment administered to me at home, and growing up in public school…and i feel i’m all the better for it.

    now when society grows up considering no consequence, look what happens (referring to these criminal twins).

    i firmly believe in positive reinforcement…and it’s one of the few tools i’m familiar with using with my kids today, as i ceased many moons ago in going the way of my ancestors with the corporal punishment route…i am very glad you are bringing this out, and accepting comments in this forum.

    finally, i do believe that even though the world says whatever it says about corporal punishment, we should somehow reinstitute the spirit of corporal punishment like i grew up with: my teachers, grandparents, and parent all faced me with the “good” book in the left and, and a rollin’ pin in the right!

    communicate to our kids we MUST, and we must also hold them accountable, and consistently hold them accountable.

    the above scenario should not happen ANYWHERE, regardless of geographic location or religion.

    we must take back our world, and it starts with each one of us.

    will stop now, the more i’m thinking about ALL of this, the angrier i become.

    Jenny, thanks for all that you do for families!

  2. Wow Mike – I am glad that you took the opportunity to vent!

    I am not sure which part of your comment I want to respond to first…

    In terms of corporal punishment – personally I am not into it. It’s kind of borderline with physical abuse in my mind. But like you said – it worked for you. And I think you’re a great guy :)

    It seems to me that what you are referring to here is your anger that people – the abusers – were not disciplined correctly – let loose really – to do whatever they want to do without feeling empathy for others, recognizing the consequences of their actions or the impact of the hell that they may cause others.

    In fact – research found that those who abuse others – lack empathy and accountability.

    One way to prevent children from becoming abusers themselves is to teach them how to be empathic, learn from the consequences of their actions, and to take responsibility for their actions.

    Basically we want to raise kids who are loving, caring, and responsible.

    Mike – this is one of those things that should make ALL of us angry. Let’s channel that anger productively, and bring ourselves to action to put a stop to this.

    Let’s start with our own families.

    You rock.

    Jenny

  3. Thank you all for your comments.

    Ilana – Continue to keep the lines of communication open with your daughter and all of your children. The best thing we as parents can do is be available – and to let our children know that they can ask us anything. If you’re unsure about what she is really asking you – just ask her what she means (i.e. she may ask you where she came from – and as you gear up for a talk about how babies are made – you might want to check in with her first and ask her what she means – she may tell you ‘well, rivka came from Russia – where did we come from?’ – then you can breathe again and answer her 😉 – So ask first – and if you don’t have the answer – take the time to find out how to best address her question and make sure to get back to her.

    Leora – I am available to speak. Send me an e-mail to getrealcoaching@gmail.com – and we can work out a time that works best for the both of us.

    Devo – thanks for your support!

  4. Thanks for addressing this topic, I look forward to reading your pamphlet!

  5. Leora Davids

    Can I contact you directly with some questions? I’d like to hear more about how to broach sexuality with kids of all ages.

    Thanks for your blog.

    Leora

  6. Hi
    Thanks for that. I find this a very important topic as well. I have talked to my daughter about her body in the past, with the help of a book I got in a library.
    I would like to hear more about how I can help prevent any kind of abuse.

    Ilana

  7. […] more here: Protecting Our Children from Sexual Abuse | Get R.E.A.L.™ Coaching tags: child, children, from-sexual, how-parents, tips-on-how | Family Education Community […]

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