Not only women, children are also very susceptible of being victims of sexual violations. KALMers may have heard sexual violation cases towards children or pedophilia, whom the perpretrators are those closest to the victims. Did you know that there is a term describing those cases? Child Grooming. Have you ever heard of it before?
KALM will explain it in the article below!
Warning: This article might contain triggering contents regarding abuse or sexual violence. If you feel uncomfortable with this topic, you can stop reading!
What is Child Grooming?
Child Grooming is a form of manipulation in which someone (the perpetrator) tries to form a close relationship with the child (as target) or the child’s family, so that they can perform sexual acts towards the child. Child Grooming is a relatively new mode of sexual crime. In action, the perpetrator can even work on forming connection and trust with the child and family for days, weeks, months, or years. No wonder there are many sexual crime cases toward children where the perpetrators are people familiar to the victim.
How Can It Happen?
There are many possible factors that allow Child Grooming to occur, KALMers. Neglectful parents can be one of them. When children do not receive adequate affection from their parent(s), they tend to seek attention from someone else. When you add a child predator into the mix, sexual crime and child exploitation will happen.
The lack of sex education for children can also cause them to not understand that the situations that they are in with the predator are not okay. People often misunderstood that sex education means teaching kids about sex. Turns out, that is not the case, KALM Moms & Dads! As simple as teaching kids about body parts that are and are not allowed to be touched by others is also a part of early years sex education. This is very important to help protect our children from various kinds of sexual crime.
Avoiding Child Grooming Through Sex Education for Children
How can sex education for children avoid them from the danger of sexual crimes? Read through these steps which KALMers Parents can do:
1. Teach Them About Body Parts
Teach children the real names of body parts. More so for private or intimate body parts. Because it is considered taboo, parents sometimes censor names of private body parts, such as calling vagina as ‘down there’. Keep in mind that teaching children about the names of body parts correctly is important. By being able to know and identifying body parts properly can help children to speak clearly if anything inappropriate happens to them.
2. Teach Them About Body Parts That Other People Should Not Touch
Give some understanding to children that there are some body parts that are private because they can’t be shown to everyone. Explain that Mom and Dad may see them naked when they are little, but people outside the house can only see them with clothes on. Explain, too, that doctors may see them with clothes off because there is Mom and/or Dad accompanying them during the visit and that is done only to check on their sick body.
3. Give Them Understanding About Physical Boundaries
Tell children that no one is allowed to touch their private body parts and no one is allowed to ask them to touch other people’s private body parts. Parents often forget the latter part of that sentence. This is important because sexual violations frequently starts with the perpetrators asking children to touch their own body parts first.
4. Teach Them How to Leave Scary or Uncomfortable Situations
Some children feel uncomfortable saying, “no,” to other people, especially adults. Teach them that it is okay to tell adults that they want to leave when something feels wrong or they feel scared. Tell them that if someone wants to see or touch their private parts, they can tell that person that they need to go and meet up with Mommy and Daddy.
5. Tell Them That These Rules Also Applies to Those They Know Of
This is a crucial point to discuss with children. When you ask a child what a bad person is, they will probably give strangers as an answer. Because not all sexual predators are strangers, you can say, “Mom and Dad may be allowed to touch your private parts when either of us have to bathe you. But no one else is allowed to touch you too. Even if they are your friends, aunts, uncles, or teachers at school. They might be good people, but they still are not allowed to touch your private parts, alright?”
What do you think, KALMers Parents? Those are what sex education for children means. Don’t take it wrong anymore! It might seem insignificant, but each little step we take can save our children from various unwanted acts of crimes.
For KALMers Parents who are still unsure about how to give early years sex education to children, you can also consult with child psychologist in KALM (download here). Hope this article is useful!
Written by: : Rachma Fitria
Translated by: Santiara
Edited by: Lukas Limanjaya
Daniels, N. (n.d.). 10 ways to teach children to speak up about sexual abuse. Child Mind Institute: https://childmind.org/article/10-ways-to-teach-your-child-the-skills-to-prevent-sexual-abuse/