Helping to prevent sexual abuse of young people
Prevention is the best weapon in the fight against sexual assault. All adults who interact with young people on a daily basis must take part in the preventive work.
Greater knowledge and increased awareness will not only make it easier to detect sexual abuse, but also make it harder for a potential offender to commit abuse.
However, there is, of course, a delicate balance. It is important that parents and professionals do not see sexual abuse everywhere and create a mood of mistrust, e.g. around close relationships between young people and adults.
The best way to prevent sexual abuse is to create a safe environment for young people where they are able to talk openly about relationships and sex. This open communication helps young people to share experiences and seek support.
- Spend time with the young people and show that you are genuinely interested in them, their world, their ideas and their feelings.
- Create an atmosphere where you can talk openly.
- Teach young people to speak out and set boundaries when others do something they do not like. This also applies to the body. Show yourself respect for their boundaries - for example, for touch.
- Show interest and talk to children about the world they are moving in on social media and elsewhere on the internet. Talk to them about both the good and the bad things that can happen when you go online.
- Children who have been subjected to harassment, bullying or sexual abuse, including sharing private photos without consent on a computer, tablet or mobile, can get help in Save the Children's anonymous
It is important when working with young people to raise awareness about sexual abuse in order to prevent sexual abuse.
Create situations – where it become natural to talk about sexual abuse without creating anxiety and fear.