About a year ago, Informing Families Building Trust sent out a survey to families, asking what they would most like to know. The results of that survey, along with direction from the IFBT advisory committee, showed a significant need for information about a difficult topic to talk about: sexual development and (along with that) abuse prevention.
The concerns were many:
- What do I say to my child about his/her changing body?
- How do I keep my child safe, but also allow him/her to have a life that’s as typical as possible?
- How do I know if s/he has been harmed or is in harm’s way?
- Is there such a thing as too early to start talking to my child?
- What are age appropriate words to use?
The answer is simple, but not easy: Educate. Educate. Educate.
Theresa Fears, MSW, of The Arc of Spokane’s Partnership 4 Safety program, met with the IFBT advisory committee and agreed to help shed some light on this very challenging topic. She has contributed informational one-pagers (bulletins) available for download on the IFBT website, called Healthy Relationships.
Healthy Relationships is positive approach to body/boundary awareness and relationship education—teaching healthy relationships, rather than focusing solely on abuse. Available Healthy Relationships bulletins:
IFBT wants to hear from you. Please let us know what you think about this and other topics. What are the issues you most want to learn about?