Although the possibility is distressing, many children in our country and around the world are exposed to various forms of bullying and abuse every day. We need to be conscious to protect our children from abuse and protecting the child’s body For that we need to give him some basic information. Even if the protection of children is the responsibility of the adults, in the absence of familiar adults to protect children from abuse It’s a good idea to talk to them about these issues.
Protecting children from abuse and bullying There are many things that can be done for you. Kidscape, the first charity founded to prevent bullying and sexual abuse against children, provides parents with various advice on child safety. Here are threechild learning to protect himself recommendations for parents;
Remind them of their rights
Everyone has the right to be safe. Tell your child that no one can threaten their right to be safe.
Talk about protecting your body
Teach him that private parts of his body belong to him. You can make it clear by stating that there are places that are closed with underwear or swimsuits, especially in private areas.
Say you can get help
Tell them that they can get help against bullying and that they should not hesitate to shout out loud to ask for help. Faced with real physical danger, the child often has to yield to the bully’s wishes. Remind the child that he has another chance, and that is to ask for help.
It’s okay to say “no”
Most children have learned to listen to adults without question and do what they say. Instill in your child that it is okay to say “No” to someone who wants to harm him or who he does not know. Tell your child that the most important thing to you is that she is safe and that she is not afraid to say “No” under any circumstance.
Don’t be afraid to tell you
Reassure your child that you won’t be mad at him no matter what. Especially towards adolescence, children start to take care of the feelings of adults and your child may act protective towards your feelings. Remind him not to hide anything and that you will solve problems together. Give him confidence that he can tell you whatever it is.
Make it clear that you will believe him.
Parental initial reactions such as “as I told you so” may prevent children from seeking help for fear of their reaction. When the child turns to an adult for help, he or she should not have to focus on the adult’s reaction, but should know that he or she will be believed and supported. In addition, not believing children’s words can lead to continued harassment or bullying. Children seldom lie about such matters.
not keeping a secret
A bully or abuser may encourage children to keep their experiences a secret. Although children may be confused at this stage, what you need to instill in your child is that he must share with you the secrets given to them by strangers. Even if your child has promised, he should know that some secrets, secrets given by strangers, should never be kept.
Explain to the child that they can say “Yes” or “No” to any touch or kiss from anyone. Not forcibly hugging or kissing children is part of this. Sometimes kids don’t want to be hugged and kissed and adults have to accept that it’s just because they don’t feel like it. So that children are not afraid of refusing to be kissed.
not talking to strangers
You can tell the kids it’s okay to talk to a stranger when they’re around you. Apart from that, when someone he doesn’t know suggests something to him, he should first ask your permission. When the child is offered something by someone he does not know, he should walk or run away as if he had not heard. Tell your child that you’ll want to know if something like this happens.
Setting aside the rules
Tell your child that he can break the rules when he feels he needs to protect himself. He needs to know that you will support him if he has to break a rule for his safety. It’s not always wrong to yell, run away, kick the bully adult to get out of danger. Tell them you can use them depending on the situation.
In the resource Understanding Child Development, written by Carolyn Meggitt, it is stated that there are recommendations that especially children in the 8-13 age group can understand when explained in appropriate language. When it comes to bullying and abuse, it seems useful to repeat the definition of bullying at this point. TyrannyIt is defined as persistent ill-treatment aimed at causing physical or emotional harm to the person it targets. It is necessary to realize that the person is exposed to bullying in the following situations;
• Intentional hostility and aggression
• A victim who is the bully or less powerful than the bullies
• Always a painful and/or distressing outcome
Types of bullying can be physical, verbal, emotional, racist, sexual or online.
If you notice that your child is being bullied
Bullying, which gives advice to parents about bullying in England, gives the following advice to families who realize that their children are exposed to bullying and abuse and receive feedback from their children in this direction;
• Listen carefully to what they tell you, without showing sadness or anger. Although it can be difficult to listen without reacting, first pay attention to what your child is saying.
• Provide reassurance that what happened to her was not her fault. Be careful not to feel guilty.
• Don’t take control right away and ask, “What would you like to do about it?” First of all, give him a chance to express himself. Thus, you will prevent your child from feeling helpless and nervous about what will happen. If she doesn’t respond, don’t force it and hug her with love.
• Afterwards, cooperate with the school and start receiving support from the necessary institutions and experts immediately.
What is being done to protect children in our country?
For all kinds of abuse against children Family Law Association15 non-governmental organizations under the leadership of Child Power Against Abuse The project came together in March 2018. In order to prevent child abuse and to strengthen children and society against abuse, studies were started for nationwide trainings. Child sexual abuse, physical abuse, economic abuse as well as neglect are among the issues that children are exposed to and addressed.
Especially when we look at the issue of sexual abuse, 46% of the total sexual assault crimes in Turkey are committed against children. According to the data of the security units obtained from the Turkish Statistical Institute, 18,623 children per year were brought to the security units as victims of sexual assault.
Child Power Against Abuse The expert team working within the scope of the project, believes that child abuse can be prevented and says “Recognizing and preventing child abuseIt prepares special training programs in the direction of “. Special education programs; It is prepared together with the information gathered from the field, academia and experts and the supporters of the platform. The trainings are conducted face-to-face and via online video. The project started with the content of education for children aged 3-8 and their families. The first pilot studies were carried out in a primary school and a children’s centre. Educational preparations for children aged 9-12 and educators will continue. It is also possible to support the project voluntarily.
Whether it is sexual abuse or peer bullying, the psychological and medical support that children need should not be delayed.
“How can I teach a child to protect himself?” If you’re asking, we have prepared for abuse prevention studies. kids educational video You can watch and talk about concepts with your children up to 8 years old:
Telephone numbers and centers to be contacted in case of detection of child abuse;
ALO 153 Social Support Line
ALO 155 Police Hotline Child Monitoring Centers (with direct application)
Support units of municipalities and hospitals
Public Prosecutors’ Offices
school guidance services
Prepared: Senem Tahmaz
Child Power Against Abuse Platform. (2020) Retrieved from: www.cocukgucu.com
Carolyn Meggitt “Understanding Child Development” (2012). Optimist Book.