Preventing Child Sexual Abuse: 6 Proactive Steps

Let’s address something for this week’s blog: child sexual abuse and ways in preventing it. I think, sometimes, we forget or choose to forget children struggle with situations that are bigger than them. Child Sexual Abuse being one of the struggles.

Did you know?
  • Sexual abuse or assault affects approximately 1 in 9 girls and 1 in 20 boys who are under 18 years old.
  • The majority, around 82%, of all victims under the age of 18 are female.
  • Females between the ages of 16 and 19 face a significantly higher risk, being four times more likely than the overall population, to become victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.

The experiences a person goes through at a young age tend to leave lasting impressions on them psychologically, and physically. They are more likely to develop symptoms of drug abuse, PTSD, and major depressive episodes. And that is just some of the things that make child sexual abuse such a gruesome act. What is even worse is that child sexual abuse is now more common than ever; it happens in schools, in homes, and even in public places. 

This is the reality that parents find ourselves in, and that’s why we should be proactive about protecting our kids from the child sexual abuse menace. Preventing child sexual abuse starts with you as a parent, not your kid.

It is easier to build up a child than it is to repair and adult.


You have to take intentional steps to prevent it. In fact, most child sexual abuse activity is perpetuated either by a family member, relative, or a person the child or family knows. Things are that bad, so you can never be too proactive about protecting your children from people who could try to take advantage of them sexually.

So, what are ways in preventing child sexual abuse

Here are 6 ways you can go about that.

1. Tell Your Children About Child Sexual Abuse

Explain what child sexual abuse is to your child(ren), let them know how they can avoid being a victim; how they should respond in a sexual abuse situation; and how they can protect themselves. 

A lot of children have been abused repeatedly by the same person. And a big reason most children would rather keep quiet about it is that they are confused about what is happening, and not just because they were threatened by the abuser. Educating your kids about sexual abuse can go a long way to prevent this from happening. 

preventing child sexual abuse
Mom conversing with her daughter.

2. Take Basic Safety Precautions

As parents, it is our responsibility to ensure the protection of our kids at all times. That includes when we’re away from them as well. If you’re not in the same place with your kids, you can ask an adult that you trust to keep an eye on your child. 

Also, if your child is alone with adults or young people, make sure that they can be seen and/or interrupted at any time. And always follow your child to public toilets. 

3. Ask for details of supervision and sleeping arrangements 

There will be times when your kids are going to sleep outside your home. They can get invited to sleepovers, parties, camps, outings and so on. Whenever this happens, make sure you ask for the details of supervision and sleeping arrangements. 

Check-in with a trusted adult who will be in that vicinity and entrust your child to their watch. 

When we talk with our children about sexual abuse, we are not only taking a proactive step toward protecting them, we are building our relationship with them grounded in honesty and trust. It’s a win-win situation.

Carolyn Byers Ruch

4. Check in with your child on their outing experiences 

Asking your kids about their experiences when they get back home from activities like sleepovers or sports doesn’t make you a nosy parent. In fact, it builds strong relationships and good communication. It’s important to know your kids’ experiences as long as you are not all about interrogating them. You can also message your kids when they’re out to check on them. 

Always remember that building a relationship with your kids where they can tell you anything without fear of judgment or punishment is not negligible. That’s how it should be.

5. Ask other parents about how they check in on their children’s safety

You can also ask your friends and acquaintances who are parents about how they check in on their children’s safety. Not only can that open your eyes to unexpected insights, but it will also help you build relationships with parents who have similar interests as you: protecting your children from sexual abuse. 

6. Trust your instinct if something doesn’t feel right 

If you find yourself in situations where people ask to take your child on outings alone, offer to coach your child personally, and so on, and you don’t feel good about it, what do you do? 

It can be hard if your kid(s) is obviously hoping you’d say YES. But when you get that bad feeling, don’t dismiss it. Say no, explain why you took that stance to your kid(s), and if possible, give them a treat. Or you can take them out yourself later.  

preventing child sexual abuse
Leaning on other trusted parents.


Every child deserves to be protected from child sexual abuse. Not just your own children. So, if you know a kid who you suspect is going through sexual abuse or appears to be going through some kind of trauma, don’t turn a blind eye. Reach out to them, and see how you can help.

And remember, preventing child sexual abuse starts with you as a parent, not your kid.

Anita Adefuye, the author, shares her story of sexual abuse, low mental health, suicide, and how she overcame them all. Today, she is the founder of LoudSilences and more.

Her book, Reve-Healed – A true story of pain, healing, and hope, is available for purchase. Get yourself a copy today!

Undo the culture of silences with us, so many can be aware and learn. Share your stories with us below.


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