I am struggling with this as well. I was molested a few times as a child and I agree with the OP that it is the parent's duty to protect their child. I've just finished reading A Stolen Life and have sort of become paranoid. DD just gets so little of what I am trying to tell her. Maybe I am making her fearful but in my mind she'd rather be scared of strangers than be too comfortable. Dh doesn't really get it either. He's really cool, I'd say just like my father - sexual abuse doesn't ever cross his mind. He's careful but over this issue - not at all.
If I tried to explain rape and sexual abuse, she would understand none of it. She is 4.5. About being a survivor, well, I have told her things like I was going up our apt. bldg stair case and a man grabbed me. She gets v. scared when I tell her that. And to most things she asks "Why?" I've been telling her that there are bad people out there, men and women and we just have to be aware of that. But, that's as far as she'll understand. She goes down and comes up our apt. stair case independently, but I stand at our apt. door till she goes out and is in my view. I constantly watch her from our window if I am not out with her. I get no work done until she is out there. I should tell her to shout loudly but I am wondering if a stranger approached her with candy or something like that will she understand it is a trap? I have warned her of that but I bet if it were to actually happen she would have no memory of it.
Don't want to take away from your post or add fears but hoping that this will create little more awarness. I had read a post in which the pp said she was molested at school. I don't know why I didn't ask her but I have always wondered how that could have happened. It is v. possible dd was on my case and I forgot to get back to the thread. I am worried school bathrooms arent' safe. I don't know if I am being paranoid. I am also relating this to a recent incident at the public pool. We were at our town's public swimming pool changing/shower room and while I was changing a staff member ( a man) had walked in. I was a bit shocked as I am hearing him. The shower cubicles had curtains but you know how those curtains are where u can peek from the sides. I might have confronted him but I was changing. And that brings me to worry that cleaners might be walking into the girl's bathrooms at school.
Sorry, I am not much help. I am here for help too.
I wonder how others handle this. Do you explicitly explain that there are people who will sexually abuse and rape children? Do you tell them what to do if they find themselves in a situation where someone is trying to harm them? If you are a survivor yourself, have you told your children about that?
We have discussed self-defense, screaming really loudly to attract attention and scare off attackers, and that kind of thing. I protect my children from sexual abuse by being there all the time, or with close friends whom I trust. But you never know what might happen, and I'd like to equip my children to keep themselves safe independently, as well.