Having an open relationship with your child helps to prevent abuse. Kids who know adults will listen without judgment often are safer.

  • Teach children they are special, valuable, and deserve to be safe.
  • Talk about why your child deserves respect and how to show others respect.
  • Tell them that sometimes adults or kids may try to trick them, using animals, food, money, special attention, or other things kids like. Encourage them to talk about it.
  • Teach them the real names of private parts and about the need to keep them private. You could say that no one should touch them where a bathing suit covers.
  • When children are told they have to hug or kiss or be hugged or kissed, they also learn that it’s OK for someone else to control their bodies. Let them set their own boundaries.
  • Encourage children to talk with you if they feel unsafe. Say you will listen and believe and help them.
  • Tell your kids, “If anyone tells you to keep a secret and it makes you uncomfortable, tell a trusted adult about it as soon as you can.”

Learn more about child abuse and neglect and protecting children. Click on the links (in blue) below

Digital/online safety for children and teens:

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Resilience

Videos:

Helplines:

Call or chat with questions and concerns. Most are 24/7. Services in “bold” have online chat.