Parents Assistance Center Educates Parents on Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse - MetroFamily Magazine
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Parents Assistance Center Educates Parents on Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse

by Parents Assistance Center

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

The National Center for Victims of Crime estimates one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. In light of the situation at Pennsylvania State University, Parents Assistance Center wants to educate people on what to look for and how to protect our children. Parents Assistance Center is the leader in providing learning opportunities designed to strengthen families, promote sound and effective parenting, and reduce family violence.

Here is what you can do to protect yourself and your children:

Know What to Look for in Sexual Abuse

  • Look for adults who are very helpful or alluring
  • Look for adults who exhibit peer-like play with children – plays with children as a child would play
  • Look for adults with no adult friends and would rather spend time with children
  • Look for adults who play tickling games or roughhouse with children
  • Look for adults who are immediately accepted into the family
  • Look for adults who refuse to accept boundaries set by you or society

Watch Out for their Excuses

  • They may attempt to paint circumstances as a misunderstanding:
    “She was trying to put on her bathing suit and needed help.”
    “He complained of being sore. I was just checking him to make sure he was ok.”
  • They may try to use medical reasons as an excuse:
    “He felt like he had a temperature. I was just checking him. I wasn’t doing anything wrong.”
  • They may try to defer blame:
    “Her parents never did like me. They are just saying these horrible things about me to keep me away from their children.”
  • They use personal hygiene as an excuse:
    “I was giving him a bath. I wasn't doing anything wrong.”
  • They may use sex education as an excuse:
    “She was just curious and asked me some questions. I was explaining the birds and the bees.”
    "He asked me a question and didn't understand what I said, so I was just showing him."

Protect Your Children

  • Talk to your kids—If you are uncomfortable, remember you aren’t talking about sex, you are talking about personal safety. Use other safety topics to lead into sex if you need to.
  • Read to your kids—Sit down and read about safety or simply have a discussion if you don’t have a book on safety.
  • Listen to your kids—Try not to dictate, preach, or demand when you speak to your kids. These are all negative ways to communicate with your children. Children need to able to tell you their feelings and thoughts.
  • Teach your kids—Tell your children to trust their feelings and instincts and tell them it is ok to say no to adults and be rude to adults to protect themselves. Teach them about “good touch” and “bad touch.” Bad touch is where their bathing suit covers them.
  • Watch your kids—Kids often forget about the dangers that surround them. Keep an eye on them at all times and know where and what they are doing.

Oklahoma state law requires any citizen to report suspected or witnessed child abuse.  You may do so by calling local law enforcement or the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-522-3511.

Parents Assistance Center (PAC) has been serving the Oklahoma City community since 1976 with educational and therapeutic services for families that need better parenting skills.  Our mission is to prevent child abuse, neglect and other family violence by strengthening the family.  The services offered by Parents Assistance Center are not offered anywhere else in the Metro.  Parents can change the future for themselves and their children by attending group workshops and obtaining other services at PAC. For more information, please visit, or call  405-232-8226.

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