Hesperian Health Guides

Chapter 12: Preventing Sexual Abuse

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Blind > Chapter 12: Preventing Sexual Abuse

As children become more independent, they meet more people and relate to them in many different ways. Just as they must learn to move around the house and community safely, they must also learn about personal safety. This chapter is about protecting children from sexual abuse.

It might seem strange to find material about sexual abuse in a book like this. Sadly, children with disabilities like blindness can be more at risk for sexual abuse than children who can see, so it is important to discuss.

a woman speaking as she stands near a sign about sexual abuse.
Parents need to talk about sexual abuse with each other, and with our children. Talking about it is the first step in stopping it. Not talking about it only protects abusers.
Keep our children safe
Nobody has the right to use a child for sex.
  • Not a relative
    (child or adult)
  • Not a family friend
  • Not a neighbor
  • Not a stranger
  • Not a teacher
  • Not a caregiver

Yet it is hard to talk about sexual abuse. In many places:

  • people rarely talk about sex.
  • people do not want to believe that sexual abuse happens to very young children, so they do not think or talk about it.
  • rules or customs say who should talk to children about sex, what should be said, and when such conversations should happen.

Every child should be able to be safe from sexual abuse. Keeping children safe from sexual abuse should be every adult's responsibility.