This week is sexual abuse and sexual violence awareness week. This week aims to decrease stigma, educate and provide advice on how to get help. Across social media, people have been breaking the silence with the hashtag #itsnotok.
As a parent/Carer education and awareness is key in the journey to preventing Child Sexual Abuse. When our children and young people are going to be in a possibly risky situation we equip them with the tools needed to protect themselves. When cycling they where a helmet. When swimming we make sure they have been prepared with swimming lessons first. But do we ever think of preparing our children with an understanding of how to stay safe from sexual abuse?
When we equip young people and children with the tools needed to better understand sexual abuse we are arming them with a knowledge of what is inappropriate and what they can do to keep themselves safe in these difficult and upsetting situations. The NSPCC P.A.N.T.S campaign is a great example of this, you can check it out here.
Experiencing sexual abuse at such a vulnerable age can rob a young person of their childhood. It can continue to cast a shadow over the rest of their adult lives.
Consequently, victims often develop a wide range of psychological symptoms. They can be anxiety, low-self esteem and show self-destructive behaviours like alcoholism and drug use.
They need the love, commitment and patience of a foster carer to rebuild their trust and give them back the childhood every young person deserves.