A Black dad smiling with his daughter on his shoulders

Resources for Parents #6

It is estimated that over 70% of trafficking victims were previously sexually abused in a non-commercial manner prior to being sold for sex by human traffickers. It is important to teach your children, beginning at a young age, how to protect themselves against predators. Body safety is a key lesson in protecting your children. Here are some body safety rules you can teach your children by age 5.

Teach your children the proper names of their body parts.

When your child is old enough to begin talking, it is important that they can properly identify their body parts, including “private parts.”  Be sure that your child understands that their “private parts” should be covered from view when in public.

Teach your child that they are the boss of their own body. 

Reinforce to your child that they are the boss of their body and they do not have to kiss or hug a person if they don’t want to.  They should be encouraged that they have a right to say no when they are uncomfortable with any physical contact.  There are times, for example, when a doctor may need to examine their “private parts,” but never when Mom or Dad are not in the room.

Talk to your child about all different types of feelings.

Talk with your child about feeling ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe.’ Use practical examples they can relate to, i.e. being scared by a loud noise and how this relates to their physical feelings or being sad because someone hurt their feelings.  Be sure to make a connection they can understand between their physical feeling and their emotions.

Discourage secret keeping.

No one should ever ask your child to keep a secret that makes them feel scared or sad.   Make sure your child knows that if someone asks them to keep a secret related to their body that they should tell someone they feel safe with.  Always be sure your children know that no matter what, they are safe to talk to you and will not get into trouble.

Empower your child to speak up if something feels wrong.

It is important that your child feel it is ok to openly discuss when they are uncomfortable or if someone touches them inappropriately.   Work with your child to create a safety network of 5 trusted and safe people.

*These tips were generated using information from the following link:

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