“Keeping Your Children Safe”

Practical Strategies for Protecting Children in Today’s World

“A child is three times more likely to be molested by a recognized trusted adult than by a stranger.”   –David Finkelhor, is the Director of the Crimes against Children Research Center, Co-Director of the Family Research Laboratory and Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire. He has been studying the problems of child victimization, child maltreatment and family violence since 1977. 

It is important that you have open communication with your children about keeping themselves safe. The way you talk to your children should be based on their age and developmental capability.  Not talking is not a safe option, because if something should ever happen to them they might not think they could tell you.

Feel free to call JFS : 973-777-7638 with any questions about speaking to your own children.

Be sure your child knows:

  • There are three forms of touch: Yes Touch, No Touch, and I Don’t Know Touch.  Examples:
    • Yes Touch: A hug from a parent
    • No Touch: A kid hits you
    • I don’t know touch: A though that doesn’t hurt, but you feel uncomfortable, strange, or scared… This is the kind of touch that you always tell your parent or another adult. No one is allowed to touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • They should run for help if someone tries to hurt them or make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Get away from anyone he or she doesn’t know who may pose a threat—for example, someone who tries to lure him or her with gifts or a ride.
  • Tell an adult what happened as soon as possible.
  • It’s always safer to go places with a buddy
    • A buddy can help make good decisions or go for assistance
  • That you will believe them  and love them no matter what they tell you or do
  • It is never their fault
  • If anyone tells you to keep a secret from your parents, that means go tell them right away

Steps parents should take:

  • Know where your child is.  Know who he or she is with and what he or she is doing.
  • Practice with your child so that he or she knows how to say “no,” where to go, and who to tell if something happens.
  • Talk to your children about sexual abuse in order to let them know you its OK to talk to you about this topic.
    • Children whose parents have spoken to them about sexual abuse prior to an incident are quicker to report it and recover faster.
  • Listen to your child talk
  • Let them talk about any experiences they have had when they have not been with you.
  • Listen not only to their words, but also to their feelings.
  • Pay attention to any adult who demonstrates any of the following :
    • Seems overly interested in your child
    • Frequently initiates time alone with your child
    • Becomes fixated on your child
    • Gives special privileges of  gifts to your child
    •  Befriends your family, and shows equal or more interest in building a relationship with your child than you
    • Displays favoritism towards one child in your family
    • Creates opportunities that cater to your child’s interests so that they can spend time alone together
    • Creates opportunities to be around your child outside of the context of his/her working relationship
    • Offers free or ‘anytime’ child care services
    • Displays age and gender preferences
  • Predators need access to your child and time alone with your child