More and more, we’re seeing men take responsibility for preventing sexual assault. The ItsOnUs campaign focuses on men stepping in when they see potential or actual danger. And no one, neither mother nor father, wants their child harmed by a sexual predator.
The average age for a sex trafficked girl is 13. And boys are also sex traffic targets. Parents need to combat the dangers long before their child becomes a victim! Here are some of the ways kids can be protected at an early age:
- Teach your child that consent really means, freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement, #FGKIA. At an early age, start them to understand that if you force someone, bully someone, or trick someone into agreeing or going along with you, the other person is not really consenting. It’s hard to do when they need to look to you as the person who makes decisions for them, even ones they don’t like. But it’s important to let them know they should tell you if someone tries to force them, trick them or fool them into doing something they don’t want to do.
- Screening caregivers is absolutely imperative. Most sexual assaults take place right in the child’s home, and it’s often a family member or someone you know. Use cameras in the home whenever your child is left in someone’s care.
- Be vigilant about your child’s use of the internet. Make sure they know that the person at the other end of the conversation may not be who they think. Even requests for baby-sitters have turned into cases of sex trafficking. Be sure YOU know who your son or daughter is baby-sitting for. Meet the family before the baby-sitting assignment.
- Before they head off to college- let them know the importance of the buddy system. You wouldn’t want them jumping into the ocean without a buddy, and they shouldn’t be jumping into the sea of college social life without a buddy either. Make sure they tell someone where they’re going and that they check in when they’re safely back. And have them always carry your contact information with them in their wallet, and on their phone under ICE- In Case of Emergency.
- Read Your Consent – The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault. Watch, and have your children watch, When YES Means NO – The Truth about Consent. Call your local legislators to demand they adopt the meaning of consent into law in your state. The laws that protect your child from harm are in your hands. Use your voice to make the world safer for them, for their future children, and for everyone’s children around the world!