No doubt, any type of abuse is terrible, but sexual abuse is one of the most destructive. I [Amanda Buys] am thankful, my children were older before I began to do as much ministry as I have in this area.
From what I have heard, it would have been hard to let them out of my sight. So many children have been abused by trusted family members, neighbors or members of the community. Who do you trust? We must protect and educate our children.
My answer is the Lord! In this society, you must trust your God given discernment. If you sense anything or anyone makes you uncomfortable. Explore it. Watch your children. Ask them questions.
If adults or teenagers seem unnaturally interested in your children, be careful. They may begin buying them gifts or wanting to take them places a lot of times.
It takes discernment to know when someone is just reaching out to a child and if they are just luring them in to a relationship in order to molest them. I would rather error by protecting the child in these circumstances. Again, ask them questions.
Because of the condition of our society, we must begin to teach our children at a very young age that there are certain parts of their bodies that other people should not touch. We need to encourage them to tell us if anyone is touching them in those areas.
Empower their “no” let them know that it is their body and if someone touches them and they don’t like it to tell them to stop.
A little 2 year old girl is asked for a hug. It is totally innocent but she says “No” and pulls away. They try to pull her towards them for a hug.
⛰As parents, we must immediately step in and say “Please respect her ‘No'” – even if it wasn’t meant to be sexual or harmful. We empower our children when we respect them.
⛰We need to watch for symptoms; a change in personality or disposition, crying when they are left in someone’s care (sometimes it is just separation anxiety). However, if their behaviour changes, be alert.
They used to love going to grandpa’s house and now they don’t want to go. They flinch when grandpa hugs them.
🌋Watch for the signs and then ask questions. Has anybody touched them wrong? Has anybody done anything that made them feel bad or uncomfortable? Suddenly they are quieter than normal, why?
Most people I have ministered to tried to let someone know that something was happening to them. They just couldn’t do it by talking. Most of the times, they have been sworn to silence and secrecy.
They couldn’t figure out how come Mom didn’t see or why their teachers couldn’t tell what was happening.
🌋Sometimes we don’t want to see, we are in denial or sometimes we don’t even know what to look for.
Other symptoms may be:
🎈physical symptoms like urinary tract infections,
🎈bleeding from the rectum,
🎈unusual rashes on their legs.
🎀If there seems to be a regression in their emotional development, ask questions.
🎀All of a sudden they have started sucking their thumb again or biting their nails. Why?
So many times parents just get caught up in trying to stop the behaviour, they don’t take time to find out why it’s there. It’s the same thing with children, get to the root and you will change the fruit.
🎀Give your children healthy, Godly physical affection so they will not have to find it in illegitimate ways. There are more promiscuous girls simply because Daddy never took the time to hug them and make them feel good about themselves. It left a hole that they keep trying to fill.
We need touch as human beings. Studies have shown that even animals left untouched do not thrive, they can even die. I have seen a lot of incest in homes where affection was not expressed. The children turn to each other for physical touch and it gets out of hand.
🎀Protect your children by monitoring what they watch on television and movies. Access to the Internet is extremely dangerous without some sort of protection programs.
Many elementary age children and teenagers are looking at pornography in the privacy of their homes. If you do not have a protection program, check the computer history or disable the computer until you are home to monitor their activity.
🎀Talk to your children about sexual issues at age appropriate times. Don’t wait for the school or their friends to do it for you.
Again because of our society, what used to be talked about at ages 14 and 15 probably needs to be discussed at age 12 and 13. You have to judge the maturity level of your child. Just don’t underestimate it.
They will find out about sex one way or another. You can control wrong messages with proper information.
🎀If you work with children in any capacity, as a teacher, youth leader, coach, etc. and see any signs of sexual abuse, ask questions. Often they are just waiting for someone to open the door. Follow proper channels as laid out by the authorities in the institution where you are working and contact the appropriate people.
IF A CHILD HAS REPORTED SEXUAL ABUSE, UNDER LAW IT MUST BE REPORTED IMMEDIATELY.
🎀We also protect our children through practicing modesty in our homes and keeping them free from pornography. I can’t tell you how many adults I have ministered to who knew exactly where their parents’ stash of pornography was.
Don’t look the other way. We have looked the other way too long. Let’s start protecting our children!
Credits – Amanda Buys