6. Do you know to stay in the public eye when you ask someone for help [when you are away from your parents/care-givers]?
Staying in the public eye means staying where other people are too. Should your child need to ask for help from a stranger in a shopping centre, they need to know not to go anywhere else with that stranger—they must stay where other people are too. Where other people can see them. An opportunistic child sexual predator will hone in on your child and may ask him/her to go with him to find his/her parents.
7. Do you know that if you are 50% uncertain about a situation, or about the behaviour of a person, to rather run away and tell and be safe, than to stay?
Instinct is something one is born with, Intuition is something that is learnt through experience. Young children do not have intuition, but it can be taught. The first most important intuitive lesson one can teach their child is to follow the little voice inside; and to listen when the inner alarm bells go off. So, if your child feels a little bit uncertain or unsafe or unsure about a situation or behaviour, teach them to listen to that and get away from that person or place. Also, if they tell you about this, do not brush it off lightly. Question within yourself where this fear or uncertainty may come from.
8. Do you know that people who really care for you will always back you up when you tell them something that is difficult for you to deal with?
Children need to know that no matter how bizarre a story or emotion may sound to you, that you will always listen—really listen to them and believe them. If your child feels that he or she cannot tell you anything, they may not tell you about the person who tried to touch them inappropriately, or who showed him/her his private parts. Children do not easily talk about things that they feel is ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ for fear of getting into trouble. Child sexual predators rely on this. Parents and care-givers need to create opportunities for children to talk and make sure that they really listen to the child, and not judge them.
9. Who are the people in your life that you trust—do I know them?
Children don’t always understand what trust is about. A child sexual predator may take weeks to gain the trust of a child through grooming methods and you won’t even know that your child has been talking to or spending time with that person. Make sure that you know every person in your child’s life.
10. Do you know your personal details?
Name, address, phone number, mom and dad’s first names and their telephone numbers. Children are never too young to learn these important details.
11. Do you have a password that only mom and dad and you know for when someone else picks you up from school or from a friend’s house?
If they don’t know the password [which only mom, dad and you know] then you don’t go with them. You tell another trusted adult and insist on phoning mom or dad to check.
12. Do you have a safe alternative place to go to should mom or dad not be at home when you come home from school?
It is paramount to your child’s safety to ensure that your child has a safe alternative place to go to if you are not home when they get back from school. Make sure that you tell your child how to get there, and that the person they are with is a trusted individual. Also ensure that your child is comfortable with the person and that he/she feels safe there.
Can your child answer the following questions?