Resources and Sponsorship
Little Warriors is a national charitable organization, based in Canada, focusing on the education and prevention of child sexual abuse. Little Warriors teaches adults how to help prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
Darkness to Light
The ultimate mission of D2L, to end childhood sexual abuse, can only be accomplished by sharing the solution of prevention, awareness and education with more and more people. This, in turn, builds momentum and over time, changes the way our nation and culture cares for, protects and nurtures our children.
Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse
CCASA is the primary sexual assault and sexual abuse crisis and education service provider for Calgary and surrounding areas. CCASA provides safe, accessible, professional services, for people of all races, abilities, religions, sexual orientations, or genders.
What is sexual abuse?
- Any sexual act between an adult and a minor or between two minors where one exerts power over the other.
- Forcing or persuading a child to engage in any sexual act.
- An agonizing and traumatic experience for its victims.
- A crime punishable by law.
5 Myths of child sexual abuse
“I do not know anyone who would abuse children.”
…an abuser looks and acts like everyone else; they are typically people we trust.
“My child tells me everything, I would know if they had been molested.”
…most victims never tell of the abuse and those that do typically tell another trusted adult besides their parents in fear of disappointing them.
“It is easier for a child who has been abused if we do not talk about the abuse.”
…not talking about the abuse will only make the child feel alone, isolated, and confused. Talking about the abuse now can help prevent social issues later such as substance abuse, becoming an abuser themselves, violent crimes, and teen pregnancy.
“He is young he was only experimenting.”
…70% of abusers have between 1-9 victims, 20-25% have between 10-40 victims, 5% may have as many as 400 victims.
“My child knows to say NO.”
…most abusers are people we trust, the same people we have told our children to trust and listen to!!
One devastating truth
The greatest risk to our children does not come from strangers, but from family and friends.
90% of abusers are family and friends, people that we know and trust, people we have told our children to trust. For this reason it is extremely difficult for a child to come forward.
Why children do not tell
- They do not want to disappoint anyone
- They have been threatened
- They have been made to believe it is their fault and no one will believe them
- They have no idea who to tell or how to tell
Information Today Means Empowerment Tomorrow!
Most of us do not start this conversation of abuse with a child early enough because we have no idea how or even where to start. From my experience I believe the best way to start this conversation is not to start off talking about abuse.
What I know is this - when we talk about abuse most of us get tense. It is a serious topic and that naturally changes our energy and our children more than anyone feel this. That makes the conversation scary and difficult from the very start.
Try reading a story. A conversation will naturally occur from a story because it is safe. The focus is taken off of the child and the pressure is taken off of you to get the words right for your child to hear. Just give it time, a child will ask questions… just given the opportunity. Now you have the start of a conversation and a way to give even more information to a child in order to empower them.
An Informed Child Is Not A Target!
Two fun activities to do today with your child
Create a Trust Sheet (there is one in the book “Should I Tell My Secret?”)
Take a piece of paper and with your child write out the names of people they trust to talk to. Have them draw pictures of these people if they want. Now the child has a plan of who they can go to; should they need to talk to someone. Make sure to let the child know it is an adult’s responsibility to help them, to protect them, and if the adult they told does not help, it is okay to tell someone else on their list.
Create a family Motto
In my family, we have created a family motto: “NO WAY NO SECRETS!”
Every day or every other day enthusiastically ask your child(ren) what is our family motto (…make it fun) This will teach them that it is okay not to keep any secrets and you never have to keep a secret from your family. It will create a red flag for the child should someone ask them to keep a secret.
Make sure you have ‘the secret talk’ with your child today!
It is the secret that gives the abuser power. Take the secret away, you take their power away!
A child has told you the unthinkable…”I have been abused” What they need from you know.
- Do not over react - take a deep breath, and get grounded. How you react will determine what a child tells you next.
- Tell the child that you believe them - Do not assume that they know.
- Tell the child it is not their fault.
- Thank the child for telling you and praise their courage.
- Encourage the child to continue talking – ask open ended questions such as what happened next or then what. Asking leading question can cause problems in court later.
- Tell the child it is your job to keep them safe and you will do your best to do that.
- Seek the help of a professional that works in this field.
If you know of or suspect anyone of being abused in any way, please contact your local authorities, your local children’s protective services, or your local sexual assault centers. It is important to follow up and be persistent.
“This is a gentle book about a difficult subject. It is a way for parents and other caregivers to introduce the issue of sexual abuse to young children in a non-threatened way that shows the importance of family and friendship. It can be a good start to conversation between parents and children. The book encourages children to share their own as well their friends' concerns which helps build a community of care.”Lucretia Martenet Barrister & Solicitor