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The allegations of harassment and rape of 10 children that emerged in Karaman once again brought the protection of the child to the agenda.
So what should adults do to protect children under their protection from sexual harassment and abuse? What should he teach the child, how to tell the child what to do against this danger from someone he knows well many times?
It is difficult to pinpoint prevalence because it is a difficult topic for adults and children to ask and talk about. This becomes even more difficult as the society in which we live is restrictive for children to speak and express themselves. “Is what the child says to be believed?” His skepticism prevents us from understanding the periphery of the problem.
But in 2008, a study conducted in partnership with the Social Services Child Protection Agency and UNICEF showed in interviews with 1,886 children aged 7-18 that 3 percent of these children were sexually abused in the last 12 months, which indicates that it is not a rare occurrence.
While children are taught the names of all body parts at the age they begin to speak, the names of “special areas” such as eyes, ears and nose should also be taught. It is important to teach the anatomically correct names of these regions and not to use “pseudonyms” or “play” names for the child to get along correctly with the adults they seek help with when they have a problem. What a child is talking about by using pseudonyms may not be understood by adults who do not know him well enough, such as the teacher or the police.
Like everyone else, they should be told that they have some “special” body parts, what the names of these areas are, who can touch them under what conditions, and they should be encouraged to protect these boundaries.
As early as possible because children of any age can become victims of abuse. They should be taught the names of body parts around the age of 2, when they started talking and expressing their wishes, and they should be taught to say “no” when their private parts are touched when they do not trust or want to.
When they begin to understand the concepts such as safe and dangerous, the subject can be explained with simple and concrete sentences through “body safety”. For example: “I want to talk to you briefly about the safety of your body. Like all of us, you have some special areas on your body. These are the places that your underwear covers. You can say no to people you do not trust here, we will not be angry with you. Sometimes some adults, who you know, love, may touch you without knowing these rules of trust, and it can make you feel uncomfortable, sad, or awkward. Say “no, don’t touch” when something like this happens. Then come tell me this – or whoever will be the safe adult of the child – will you? So we can both protect you and tell that adult the safety rules. “
Here, it is important not to scare the child and not to think that someone will be punished when he tells about an event that has happened. Because, unfortunately, most of the time, the source of abuse comes from the adults that children know and love, and children are afraid or hesitant to harm them by talking.
It is important for parents to always respect the body limits of their children.