What You Can Do To Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse?
It is important to keep the focus on adult responsibility while teaching children skills to help them protect themselves. Consider the following tips: •Take an active role in your children’s lives. Learn about their activities and people with whom they are involved. Stay alert for possible problems. • Watch for “grooming” behaviors in adults who spend time with your child. Warning signs may include frequently finding ways to be alone with your child, ignoring your child’s need for privacy (e.g., in the bathroom), or giving gifts or money for no particular occasion. • Ensure that organizations, groups, and teams that your children are involved with minimize one-on-one time between children and adults. Ask how staff and volunteers are screened and supervised. • Make sure your children know that they can talk to you about anything that bothers or confuses them. • Teach children accurate names of private body parts and the difference between touches that are “okay” and “not okay.” • Empower children to make decisions about their bodies by allowing them age-appropriate privacy and encouraging them to say “no” when they do not want to touch or be touched by others—even in nonsexual ways. • Teach children to take care of their own bodies (e.g., bathing or using the bathroom) so they do not have to rely on adults or older children for help. • Educate children about the difference between good secrets (such as birthday surprises) and bad secrets (those that make the child feel unsafe or uncomfortable).
• Monitor children’s use of technology, including cell phones, social networking sites, and messaging. Review contact lists regularly and ask about any people you don’t recognize. • Trust your instincts! If you feel uneasy about leaving your child with someone, don’t do it. If you are concerned about possible sexual abuse, ask questions. • If your child tells you that he or she has been abused, stay calm, listen carefully, and never blame the child. Thank your child for telling you. Report the abuse right away.
Remember: You can help protect your children from sexual abuse by being active in their lives and teaching them safety skills.
Signs of Possible Sexual Abuse: • Unexplained pain, itching, redness, or bleeding in the genital area • Increased nightmares or bedwetting • Withdrawn behavior or appearing to be in a trance • Angry outbursts or sudden mood swings • Loss of appetite or difficulty swallowing • Anxiety or depression • Sudden, unexplained avoidance of certain people or places • Sexual knowledge, language, or behavior that is unusual for the child’s age.
This tip sheet was created using information from Prevent Child Abuse America, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the Enough Abuse Campaign, and Stop It Now. You can download this tip sheet and get more parenting tips at www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/resources/tip-sheets/, or call 800-394-3366.
We live in difficult days religiously, socially, politically, economically, and emotionally. The reality is that we aren’t the first people to live in difficult days. Days have been difficult throughout the history of humanity since sin entered into the world.
In 1 Chronicles 12:32, the Bible says, “Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.” In difficult days, we need those with the spirit of the sons of Issachar.
They understood the times. They understood that faithfulness to God is essential. They understood the culture in which they existed. They understood the socio-political realities of their time. They understood the impact of what was going on culturally on the faith of the people. They understood that change is necessary. Not everyone understands the times and not everyone among those who do not understand the times knows that they don’t understand the times. Additionally, there are some people in the church who don’t care about the times.
Those who do not understand the times may not see that faithfulness to God is essential. They may not understand that change is necessary. So the role of leaders is to help people understand the times. When you realize that not everyone understands the times and that not everyone cares about the times, it reduces your level of frustration.
The sons of Issachar didn’t just understand the times, they had knowledge of what Israel should do. Based on the times, they knew how to respond. It is possible to understand the times and not know what to do. But the sons of Issachar didn’t just have accurate analysis, they knew the appropriate actions based on their analysis. Understanding should lead to action. Too many times we remain stuck in the paralysis of analysis. If the people of God are to be effective, we need both awareness and decisiveness.
Interestingly, not everyone in Israel understood the times. But those who did not understand trusted the judgment of those who did. Not everyone has the ability to do the analysis, but we all have the ability to take action. Now is a critical time in the history of the world for God’s people to understand the times and know what to do. Now is a crucial time for all of God’s people to take action that is appropriate for the times in which we live. Now is the time to act based on the knowledge of the will of God. In times like these the people of God must stand as warriors in God’s army and fight for the cause of Christ.
Christians should be the most generous people in the world. God is our model for giving. Scripture reveals several reasons why we should give. Giving is an expression of devotion to God (Acts 4:36-5:3). When we give, we are giving to God. When we give, we are not giving to the church. The Biblical picture is that we give to God through the church. The church is one of the God ordained vehicles by which we give to Him. Proper giving starts with us first giving ourselves to God. When we give ourselves to God, our resources follow (2 Cor. 8:3-5). We have to move from an ownership model of thinking to a stewardship model of thinking. We have been entrusted with something that doesn’t belong to us that we must manage and manage well so that the One who gave it to us will be pleased.
Giving is a reflection of the nature of God. “Abundant grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33). God is a giving God. It is in God’s nature to give. In fact, our ability to give is a testimony to God giving to us. We don’t deserve or earn the blessings of God. God gives because He wants to give. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…” James 1:17 (NKJV). In giving we show that we understand why God has given to us. He gives to us so that we can give. We should reflect His generosity in our giving. Giving is one of the primary opportunities that we are given to look like God.
Giving is a demonstration of trust in God (Proverbs 3:5-10) we are familiar with verses 5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…in all your ways acknowledge Him...” The wise man then gives three areas of application for these principles: decisions, dollars, discipline. We are to honor the Lord with our substance and with the first fruits. This idea of honoring the Lord is the idea of showing how great and worthy God is. When we give to God what is first, we have to have enough faith to believe that He will make sure that we have enough to sustain us. When we don’t give, it is an indication that we don’t trust. First fruits giving is faith giving. First fruits giving says Lord, you mean so much to me that I am going to give to you and trust you to supply my need. We have not come to the point where we trust God with all of our heart and acknowledge Him in all of our ways until we do so financially.
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.