How to Start Talking to Young Children about Sexual Abuse

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My whole world shifted. As always, it was the fault of the mother.

Yes, it was.  

I have worked with victims/survivors of sexual violence for well over two decades.

Recently my central focuses are child sexual abuse prevention & healthy response.  

Actually, it was my mother who encouraged me to go in this direction.  
She thought that she had done everything right.  
She asked us questions often.  
“Did anyone touch you?”
“You know that no one is supposed to touch you, right?”


But her best wasn’t enough.
The people she trusted betrayed her.Recently I discovered that this has been eating away at her.  And then she shocked me and my siblings by encouraging me to speak. She wanted me to be more personal in work.  Really?

Not Ms. “Don’t put your business in the street” herself.

That was a few  years ago.  I’m glad that I took my mother’s advice.  


Thanks, Mom!  You were right. My world shifted towards being vocal against sexual violence, being transparent about my own victimization, and empowering fellow Survivors!


Thank you!

Empowering Children
Readers, having a conversation about child sexual abuse has got to be one of the hardest parent-child conversations ever.
I know you know this.  
The latest studies are still saying that we are scared. Terrified.  And avoiding.  
But, you MUST have this conversation throughout their entire childhood. There is no other option.

When I talk to audiences that are made up of parents, they don’t even know where to begin. Truth be told, I didn’t either.  I just knew from personal experience that I had to.

I had a beautiful son I adored who was born premature.  He fought a brutal battle just to live. If I could help it, I had to make certain that sexual abuse wasn’t yet another burden that he would have to fight.

I realized something.  
Lessons about sexual violence were just as important as teaching him to look both ways when crossing the street.  
I had to give him tools he could use even when I wasn’t around.  

Or even if he was out of my sight for more than five minutes.  

I was terrified.  Trembling in fear.  

But sometimes in life, you have no other choice but to get out of your own way.

Children loooove stories. The same one over and over. Doesn’t even matter to them if everybody knows it by heart.  They still want you to read it to them.

Well, why not read them a story about body safety?  It gets the conversation started for you.  Plus you are repeating the lesson. That is VERY important.  

Why these books?

I read each of these books from cover to cover.  I’ve recommended them to parents in audiences where I have spoken.

*****Readers, if you have other books to add, please add them in the comments section.  
You can also email me.  I look forward to sharing them with readers online followers, and audiences in the near future.  


-“Samuel learns to yell and tell” (Debi Pearl)

-“Sara Sue learns to yell and tell” (Debi Pearl)

-“Some Parts are Not for Sharing” (Julie K. Federico)

-“It’s My Body” (Lory Freeman)

-“My Body is Private” (Linda Walvoord Girard)

-“I Said No!” (Zack and Kimberly King)

-“Your Body Belongs to You” (Cornelia Spelman)

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Would You Like to Stay Connected?

Post Author: Tonya GJ Prince

Tonya is a Social Justice Expert with over 24 years experience as a speaker, group facilitator, crisis intervention counselor, writer, advocate & activist. She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development.
Her Tortie rescue cat MiaBelle, is her longtime co-writer.
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