Talk about sexuality
Providing guidance about sexuality and healthy sexual behaviour is important to develop a healthy sexuality and prevent violations. Having confident, respectful adults acting as role-models of sexual behaviour and language is good. So are adults who give honest and concise answers to children’s questions about body and sexuality.
There is a need for exploratory conversations when children in some way signal their discomfort about something. Such signs can be something the child said or showed, outbursts, pulling away, school refusal or sexualized behaviour. Information provided by someone else is also sufficient cause for worry. The adult then needs to show they care, along with being available to talk when the child needs it or is ready to open up. Ask open questions and let the child speak. Believe in and support the child. Remember to also document questions and answers in the event of further investigation. If you suspect someone of having suffered a sexual assault, call the Child Welfare Service and express your worries. You can do this anonymously. The Child Welfare Service will advise you if you are in doubt of what to do next.