HOW TO ENGAGE AN AFFECTED CHILD’S FAMILY
series: PREVENTING SEXUAL ABUSE by meera seshadri
Maybe engaging parents in the topic of as your child grows, they should feel supported in their development and how would you like to be involved in that? What are your ideas about that? Of course they're growing from children to young teenagers or teenagers into young adults.
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It's important for us that we create a positive environment where they can flourish; where they can learn about themselves in ways that are respectful and healthy and involving the parents in those conversations. The more positive side of this experience can be a better place to start than starting with a more negative topic.
If you are worried or suspect that the child may be experiencing abuse or harassment, regardless of by whom. In asking the child who is an adult in your family or who is someone that you really trust and that you feel we can talk to about this and that may be a better place to start.
Caregivers are also part of their environment now in which they are adults to look up to and model behavior after. It's important to be a role model around this issue in terms of creating the right boundaries. Making sure that people feel supported and respected in their identity and making sure that you don't cross any boundaries, specifically with physical touch.
Children are going to pick up on those ways in which an adult is very respectful of their sense of space and identity. That's the most powerful thing you can do is be that role model. Also have the parents see a different way of being with a child and a young teenager than they're used to being culturally. So you will have to be the trailblazer on this topic, which is exciting and really hopeful for children.
Meera is a health communications specialist, researcher, and activist working at the intersection of gender-based violence prevention and sexual health promotion. She has spent over a decade working to increase access to, and utilization of, comprehensive...
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sexual health resources for adolescents in communities worldwide, developing violence prevention and education programs at Emory, Georgetown, and Harvard Universities and working as a consultant and curriculum development specialist for Soteria Solutions, the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the World Bank.
She is passionate about confronting the ideological and institutional challenges that affect young people's health, wellness, and autonomy. Meera works in coalition with university, non-profit, corporate, and community stakeholders to create policies and environments that prioritize gender equity, intersectionality, and social justice.