Child protection week began in 1997, and is aimed at motivating members of every community to rise up and speak out against the abuse of children. It also focuses on sensitizing communities and families about children's rights, including children with disabilities throughout the country.
The concept of Child Protection Week stems from the African proverb: “It takes a village to raise a child” emphasizing the role of the wider community in keeping children safe.
This year the Child Protection Week is commemorated from 27 May to 2 June 2013.
Show your support by wearing a Green Ribbon, which is the official logo of Child Protection Week. This symbolizes protection, life and growth.
For the next 3 days, the blog will be sharing tips on how to protect your child, as well as some activities to make learning about body safety and emotions a fun and invaluable lesson.
Preparing your child for the dangers that lay in the outside world is of the utmost importance for their protection and future. Children are our Nation’s most precious resource. It is our responsibility to safeguard the young and to teach them the skills to be safe.
Child protection starts at home and with one’s own family.
Children must be made aware of all the potential things that can happen, so that they know how to react to avoid them.
Communication between you and your child is the first step to equipping them with the skills to safety.
Having a discussion about body awareness and body safety, allows your child to receive the correct information from a trusted source. It also empowers your child to speak out if someone has or is trying to hurt them.
Teach your child about their body parts, and about safe and unsafe touches. An unsafe touch is when someone touches them in a way or place that makes them feel uncomfortable. This can confuse and frighten them. Safe touches make them feel happy and secure.
Emphasise that their bodies belong to them and no one can touch or kiss them in any way that makes them feel uncomfortable. They have the right to control what happens to their bodies.
Many children are taught to always listen to their elders and individuals in positions of authority, at times leading to adults abusing children as they are frightened to say no. Give your child permission to say No to adults, when they feel uncomfortable or unsafe. It is difficult for a child to say NO to an adult, but should be encouraged when it comes to safety. Every child has the right to say NO.
Offenders rely on children being willing to keep secrets. Encourage children never to keep something like this a secret, but to always tell an adult they trust.
Teach your child to be aware of accepting sweets or money from other individuals. Molesters often offer children bribes in exchange for sexual favours, e.g. sweets, gifts, money. Gifts are given freely, but bribes are given to make children do things they do not want to do.
Remember that adults who hurt children are not always strangers. They could be friends or even family members. Encourage your child to speak to you if anyone tries to harm them.
If your child approaches you and opens up about an abusive or unsafe experience, sit down and listen. Make sure your child knows that what they are sharing with you is of the utmost importance to you and that they are believed. This is essential for the healing process.
Should your child be exposed to an abusive or unsafe experience, please contact us.
Equip your child for life, by teaching them the skills and knowledge for safety.