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From the Mikailia Center: 10 Things You Can Do To Help Fight Child Abuse

The Mikailia Child Advocacy Center would like to remind everyone that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Here are ten things you can do to help fight child abuse:

1. Take an active role in your children’s lives – Learn about their activities and who they are hanging out with. Stay alert and trust your instincts.

2. Learn the facts – 90% of children who are sexually abused know their abuser. (For more information visit Darkness to Light website at https://www.d2l.org)

3. Talk about it – Open conversations with children about personal safety, sex, and boundaries are one of the best defenses against child sexual abuse.

4. Listen to them – Teach your children to use their voice and believe what they say. Make sure they know they can talk to you about anything that bothers or confuses them.

5. Recognize the signs – There are no behaviors that relate to a particular type of child abuse, but here are some common physical signs and behavioral changes in children who may have experienced abuse or neglect:
• Any injury that can’t be explained
• A sexually transmitted disease
• Fearful behavior
• Attempts to run away
• Sudden change in self-confidence

6. Watch for “grooming” behaviors – Grooming is the process where a perpetrator works to develop trust with a child and their caregiver. Warning signs may include frequently finding ways to be alone with your child or giving gifts or money for no particular occasion.

7. Educate children about the difference between good secrets and bad secrets – Birthday surprises verse those that make the child feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

8. Practice Self-Care – Practicing self-care is an important step to becoming a better parent.

9. Teach children accurate names of private body parts – Along with accurate names, discuss the difference between touches that are “okay” and “not okay.”

10. Report suspected child abuse to Law Enforcement (530) 257-6121 or Lassen County Child and Family Services (530) 251-8277.

If you would like more information or have questions, please contact the Mikailia Child Advocacy Center at (530) 251-8280.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso
SusanvilleStuff.com Publisher/Editor
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