Nationally, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Youth can be abused by someone they know. Ninety percent of child victims know their abuser, and most children will never report it. Abuse can be prevented. These startling statistics are why it is important for everyone to be educated about sexual abuse, how to keep children safe, and how to respond if you have concerns. Our mentoring programs are committed to the safety of our children. We are thankful that nothing has happened in our programs, but because of the nature of these one-on-one relationships, we want to make sure parameters are in place to protect youth and adults. This is why the mentoring team partnered with our child advocates to great this helpful guide and protocol that teaches concepts of body safety and prevention.
My Body Is Mine Booklet
Body Safety ProtocolReporting Inappropriate Contact
- If you have a suspicion of child sexual abuse, it is important to “go with your gut.”
- You can report abuse to the Department of Human Services, 1-800-362-2178.
- It is important to also make a report to your local law enforcement agency.
- By making the two reports, you are progressing the case as both entities will follow up with allegations.
- It is best practice to always remain in an area where people can see you.
- Let people know where you will be.
- An adult should never tell a child to keep a secret from their parents/guardians.
- It is best practice to ask a child before you touch them (ex. “Would you like a hug?”).
- Being alone in a bedroom with a child. (Establish an open environment by keeping the door open and having parents check in time to time.)
- Asking a child to keep secret gifts you give them.
- Undermining the parents authority.
- Touching a child’s private areas, any area covered by a bathing suit.
- Helping a child go to the bathroom or take a bath.
- Stay calm, believe them, and ask open-ended questions.
- Stop yourself from “getting to the bottom of it.”
- Thank the child for telling you, and affirm it is not their fault.
- Remember disclosing is a process, not an event. Children respond to situations in different ways.
- One talk is not enough. Keep the conversation going without making the child uncomfortable.
- Call DHS and law enforcement to file a report.