Child Abuse Prevention
Internet Safety Tips
- It's a good idea to keep the computer in a high-traffic area of your home.
- Establish limits for which online sites your child may visit and for how long.
- Make sure to know who is connecting with your children while they are online.
- Remind your children to never give out personal information such as name, address, or phone number.
- Help your children understand that they should never send a picture of themselves to a stranger.
- Encourage your children to talk to you about any communication they receive or view that makes them feel upset or uncomfortable.
- Tell your child that people who introduce themselves on the internet might not always be who they say they are.
- Express the importance of never meeting someone face-to-face that they have met online.
- Continue to talk with your children about online safety.
- More information at NetSmartz.org
Child Abuse Prevention Tips
- Make sure children are supervised, even when they are with other kids.
- Talk to your kids about topics like personal boundaries, secrets, and personal touch.
- Use proper names for body parts.
- Let your children know it's okay to tell you if anyone touches them, hurts them, or behaves in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.
- When your children are with caretakers, even caretakers that you know and trust, make sure all their interactions are observable and interruptible by others. There is no reason for kids to be isolated with a caretaker.
- Be cautious of anyone who wants to spend more time with your children than you do.
- Role play with your children ways to act out and draw attention to him or herself if they are in a situation where they feel unsafe.
- Ask your children open-ended questions about their day, and about time they spent with others. Listen to your children's responses and follow up on things that seem questionable to you.
- Avoid the use of physical discipline in your home.
Top 10 Things To Do If A Child Discloses Abuse To You:
10. Trust your instincts.
If your "yuck" or "uh-oh" radar goes off, that means you have a suspicion.
9. Make the report yourself.
If you heard it, you report it.
8. Let professionals handle the investigation.
Taking pictures, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, medical examinations and crime-scene observations will all be done during the investigation. It's best to leave it to the professionals and work with them instead of trying to do things for them.
7. Ask about the number of incidents in general terms only.
Younger children and children who have been abused multiple times are not typically able to determine the number of times they've been abused. We do not want children to guess when they are giving a disclosure. Instead, ask if something happened "One time or more than one time". That's it.
6. Allow the child to choose who he or she tells.
Making the child tell his or her parents/guardians/perpetrator may put the child in greater danger or lean to coaching/recantation.
5. Let professionals determine the meaning of "caretaker".
If you call DHS and they reject your claim due to lack of caretaker, they will contact law enforcement to look into in further.
4. Understand that your excuses and plans can't ensure it won't happen again.
You cannot guarantee that the child will remain safe, and that is not your decision to make.
3. Listen to the child's disclosure without asking him or her to re-enact abuse.
You do NOT need to know the entire history of abuse or all the specifics to make a report. Asking the child to re-enact the abuse can be traumatizing and can compromise further interviews with the child. Please avoid using drawings, dolls or stuffed animals in your conversation with a child.
2. Keep the child in your sight at all times if the alleged perpetrator will have access to the child in the foreseeable future.
Contact law enforcement if there is immediate danger.
1. Take action!
They told you for a reason. Do something. Do what you're supposed to do.