TALKING ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT WITH CHILDREN AND TEENS
The political events of the last few weeks have focused our national, neighborhood, and family conversations on sexual assault, abuse and harassment. Wherever you find yourself on the political spectrum, many report that this is an emotionally grueling time. It has been particularly triggering for those who have experienced sexual assault, harassment and abuse. And if you’re trying to figure out how best to talk to your children and teens (boys and girls) about these issues, it can be even more overwhelming. Yet, when current events provide the opportunity to start or continue important conversations with our children, we consider it a teachable moment.
This is indeed a teachable moment. We’ve put together this article to provide food for thought, tips for conversations, and action steps you may want to take.
As you begin to dive into these resources, remember these life lessons for yourself and your children:
- Your body is yours. You set the boundaries.
- Learn to say, “No!” without apology.
- Trust your gut.
- Speak your truth.
- Who are your trusted adults? Remember to go to them for non-judgmental support.
- Build real, healthy relationships. Foster mutual respect, honesty, effective communication, trust, and equality.
With older children and teens, consider discussing the importance of consent, integrity and wise decision-making. Wishing you courage and wisdom as you engage with your children and teens during this teachable moment.
CONVERSATION STARTERS AND TIPS
We selected these articles because they provide useful information on how to talk to your children and your teens about sexual assault.
Talking to Your Kids About Sexual Assault (From RAAIN)
What #MeToo Means to Teenagers (From the New York Times)
Dear dads: Your daughters told me about their assaults. This is why they never told you. (From the Washington Post)