Recognizing and preventing sexual abuse in children

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dr. Eva Devita Harmoniati, Sp.A(K)
dr. Eva Devita Harmoniati, Sp.A(K). (Source: RSABK)

Studies show that children who suffer from traumatic occurrences are 14 times more likely to attempt suicide, and to consume alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs. They are also 4.5 times more likely to suffer from depression. Parents need to be alert, because sexual abuse may occur any time, anywhere. Educating children about their genitals, and about appropriate conduct of adults towards them, is a good preventive measure so that they do not become victimized. Teaching about sexual limits and bodily functions should never be a taboo. 

sexual predators

When should we start imparting sex education to our children then? 

“You can start introducing the function of sexual organs to child as a part of their body that they should protect by the age of three. This is not yet the right moment to teach them about sexual process and behavior, but it is the right time to introduce the fact that male children have penises, while female children have vaginas as their sexual organs. When the child is about to enter school, whether in Kindergarten or Elementary School, we need to start to inculcate to them that they must protect their organs, they should not allow anyone to look at these organs or touch them unless it’s their mom or dad or a doctor,” dr. Eva said. 

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Teenagers should also be given sex education using scientific terms about the body’s reproduction. “Inform them that pregnancy may occur when the sperm meets the ovum, and how such a meeting may happen. Therefore, teenagers should take care of themselves better and not allow too intimate physical contact with each other, let alone adults. We don’t want them to regret their lives, which are still so long ahead of them,” she concluded. (est)