SAFETY TIPS

The next few pages are here to inform you the parent the front line of defense for all our children. Please take a few minutes to educate yourself with all the materials available on our site so you can be better informed. One of the best ways to help fight horrible crimes against our children is to know the facts and how to educate your child.

KNOWING THE STATISTICS

In 2003 there were: Over 67,800 children reported missing in Canada
More than 185 children are:
Reported missing daily.
According to psychiatrists who treat sexual offenders:
As much as 3% of the Canadian population are sexually drawn to children.
74% of children abducted by a stranger who are murdered:
Are dead within the first three hours of their abduction.
In Canada one in three boys and one in two girls:
Are victims of unwanted sexual abuse before they reach the age of 18. In most cases the child is threatened or forced.

 

What is Abuse?

The following is considered abuse

  • Physical abuse such as punching or throwing a child against a wall
  • Sexual abuse such as touching a child or having a child touch you for a sexual purpose
  • Emotional abuse such as depriving a child of love or affection or threatening a child

Does this mean that parents cannot discipline their own child?

No. Parents are allowed to discipline a child.
What is appropriate discipline will depend on the situation and age of the child.

 

What is Neglect?

Neglect is where a parent or other person who is responsible for a child fails to take proper care of the child.
Are all the children protected by the act?

  • Children up to the age of 16 are protected by the Act.
  • Also, if a court order was made while a child was younger than 16, it may continue until the child is 21.

This might happen if the child has a disability or if he or she is going to university or college.

Can a parent get help with problems that may lead to abuse?

Yes

A parent should be able to get assistants to help prevent abuse. There are community groups and professionals who provide support and counsellors to families at risk of abuse.

What happens if someone says your child is abused or neglected?

A social worker from a child protection agency will check out the report. Child protection agencies are responsible for seeing that children are protected from abuse.

They do this by:

  • Investigating reports of abuse
  • Providing services to children and their families
  • Carrying out court orders
  • Looking after children who are in care

Child protection agencies are usually called Children’s Aid Societies or Family & Children Services.

 

 

DO

Talk to your child every day and take time to really listen and observe.
Learn as many details as you can about your child’s activities and feelings.
Encourage him/her to share concerns or problems with you.

DO

Listen to your child’s complaints and concerns.
Children don’t come out and say, “I was molested”.

They say:

  • “I don’t want Suzie to baby sit anymore”.
  • “I don’t want to go to Grandpa’s”.
  • “I don’t like Uncle Charlie”, or
  • “My crotch bothers me”.

DO

Explain that his or her body belongs only to them alone and that he or she has the right to say “NO” to anyone who might try to touch them.

DO

Tell your child that some adults may try to hurt children and make them do things the child may not feel comfortable doing.

  • Often these grownups call what they are doing a “secret” between themselves and the child.

DO

Explain that some adults may even threaten children by saying that their parents may be hurt or killed if the child ever shares the secret.

  • Emphasize that an adult who does something like this is doing something that is wrong.

DO

Tell your child that adults whom they know, trust, and love or someone who might be in a position of authority might try to do something like this.

  •  i.e.: babysitter, teacher, uncle or even a police officer

Try NOT to scare your child.

· Emphasize that the vast majority of grown ups never do this and that most adults are deeply concerned about protecting children from harm.

 

IF YOU THINK THAT YOUR CHILD HAS BEEN ABUSED…

DO

Believe the child.

  • Children rarely lie about child abuse.

DO

Commend the child for telling you about the experience.

DO

Convey your support for the child.

  • A child’s greatest fear is that he or she is at fault and responsible for the incident.

Alleviating this self-blame is of paramount importance.

DON’T

Cry, scream or panic.

· Your child cares about you. If parents act upset, the child will think it is his fault.

DON’T

Do anything that will hurt your child.

· Your actions NOW can either help your child or psychologically scar him for life.
If you require additional information, there may be a ‘Child Safety Handbook’ available from your local Police Dept.  This booklet should be free of cost.