As I may have mentioned in previous threads, I'm a therapist for my day job. What I may not have mentioned is that I exclusively work with people who have committed sexual offences and/or have inappropriate sexual thoughts that they're having difficulty controlling on their own.
As a result, I see a lot of situations that could have been made easier (or avoided altogether) if only the parents had proper education or information available to them. The saddest stories are generally when the child is trying to tell the parent what's happening but it gets lost in the reaction or the cues are too subtle, and the abuse goes on for much longer than it could have. I figure if I have a bunch of current and future parents available to me via this forum, I should share this information.
I recently came across this website that I have to say has done a pretty fabulous job of summarizing information in a way that isn't fearmongering and has genuinely helpful tips for talking to your children about inappropriate sexual behaviour and sex in general.
This is a direct link to a really informative pdf they have released: http://www.d2l.org/atf/cf/%7B64AF78C4-5EB8-45AA-BC28-F7EE2B581919%7D/7%20Steps%20to%20Protecting%20Our%20Children.pdf
The key things that I can say from experience are:
- make the topic of sex something that your child feels comfortable discussing with you by starting early with general discussions
- avoid using "cuter" words for anatomy, like cookie or birdy or muffin. This trivializes their genitals and makes it more difficult for you or others to understand if they are trying to tell you that something is wrong (think of all the names you have for your vagina vs all the times you have for your arm or your ears)
- most people (not just children) are sexually abused by people they know, not strangers. I would say as much as 85% of my clientele offended against their family, neighbors, or students
- sexual abuse against males is a serious matter and should be regarded as such. It is not different when a 28 year old teacher has sex with her 12 year old male student compared to when a male teacher does so to a female student. If anything the males are worse off because others expect them to be thankful for being raped.
Sorry for the downer, but it's very important.