Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Toolkit
How Can I Protect My Child From Sexual Abuse?
- Learn the facts about this serious crime.
- Educate your child on personal safety.
- Monitor your child's relationships with others.
Child sexual abuse is sexual activity between an adult and a child or between two minors if there is a significant age, size or power difference between them. It can include a range of activities such as sexual touching, sexualized talk, exposure to genitals, rape and involvement in pornography or prostitution.
- Over 50% of victims served at The Sex Abuse Treatment Center are under age 17 at the time of the abuse.
- Children are nearly always abused by someone they know. In over 90% of sexual abuse cases, abusers develop a close, trusting relationship with the targeted child prior to abusing them.
- Physical force is rarely used. Most children are tricked and manipulated into sexual abuse through the use of affection, special attention, gifts, etc.
- Many children don't tell. Abusers typically threaten or trick children into keeping the abuse a secret.
- The impacts of child sexual abuse are serious. Victims often experience fear, shame, loss of self-esteem and depression. They are at increased risk for suicide and many struggle with problems such as eating disorders, substance abuse and relationship difficulties. With treatment and support, however, many child victims can recover.
- For more information on:
This 12 minute video features adult survivors of child sexual abuse from Hawai'i. They share their personal experiences of abuse and provide insights on how adults can protect children. The video also includes interviews with clinical psychologist Sherrie Takushi-Isara from the Sex Abuse Treatment Center and Detective Jim Maurer form the Honolulu Police Department, Sex Crimes Detail. They provide facts about this serious crime, explain how to respond if a child discloses sexual abuse, and highlight important prevention tips. Share the video with your group or organization. Click to download Video Discussion Guide. Call 535-7600 about obtaining the DVD version of the video.
Let's Talk with our Kids Brochure
This helpful brochure for parents and other concerned adults will increase their knowledge about child sexual abuse and provide useful tips on how to reduce a child's risk of being abused.
The brochure highlights the importance of adults dialoguing with children at an early age about safe and unsafe touching and speaking up if unsafe touching should happen to them. As children get older the dialogue should expand to include topics such as personal boundaries - learning to assert one's own boundaries and also respecting the personal boundaries of others.
Click to download brochure: Let's Talk With Our Kids: Sexual Abuse Prevention (PDF, 1MB)
My Body is Special Sing-a-Long Songs
Two upbeat, child friendly songs that adults can use to educate their child about personal safety. Download the music lyrics and "Tips for Adults" information sheet (PDF). Music and vocals provided by Le Jardin Academy. Made possible through the generous support of the Higgins Family Foundation.
My Body Belongs to Me
*To download an MP3 to your computer, right-click on the link and select the option that will save the MP3 file (i.e. "Save link as"). If you just click on the link, the MP3 may start playing automatically in your default MP3 player.
Let's Talk about Touching - Coloring and Activity Book
We can never completely protect our loved ones from sexual abuse, but we can help keep them safe through education and awareness.
By learning about unsafe or secret touching, children are less likely to become victims. This coloring book was designed for a child to share with a special grown up.
The Sex Abuse Treatment Center provides these free coloring books to Hawai'i residents. Please contact us.
Help reinforce important messages about personal safety using two colorful posters. Display in public areas frequented by families (e.g., pediatrician's offices, community centers, child care facilities). Made possible through the generous support of the Higgins Family Foundation.
Click to download posters:
How to Respond if a Child Discloses Sexual Abuse
A child may share their experience in detail or say little about the abuse. Try to avoid asking "why" questions because this can make the child feel as though they did something wrong.
- Believe them.
When a child discloses sexual abuse, believe what they say. It is often difficult for a child to talk about the abuse because the abuser is usually someone the child knows and trusted. The child may be fearful that they won't be believed or scared about what the abuser will do. Believing a child is the first step to their recovery.
- Stay calm.
You may experience strong feelings when you hear a child talk about being abused. Showing the child that you are calm will help ease their fears and make the experience of sharing easier for them.
- Let them know that it wasn't their
Children often feel that the abuse was their fault because they didn't say no or tell the abuser to stop right away. Reassuring a child that it wasn't their fault relieves them of the burden of self-blame.
- Let things return to normal.
After a child tells you about the abuse that happened to them, comfort them, ensure their safety and let them return to their normal activities as soon as possible. Focusing on the abuse or continual questioning can further traumatize them.
- Access help.
For information, support and treatment services call the Sex Abuse Treatment Center's 24/7 crisis hotline: 524 -7273.
SEXUAL ABUSE IS NEVER A CHILD'S FAULT
- Adults know that sexual abuse is wrong and against the law.
- A child is too young to give permission for sexual touching.