Steps for Prevention

What is Prevention?

Preventing child abuse means reducing risk factors and building protective factors in families to ensure a child’s wellbeing. Effective child sexual abuse prevention methods include educating adults on the warning signs of child sexual abuse and how to protect children, as well as teaching children body-safety skills. Learn more about prevention.

Steps for Prevention

  1. Know age-appropriate sexual behaviors: Although children’s sexual behaviors can make parents feel uncomfortable or embarrassed, knowing what behaviors are normal and how to respond sensitively and age-appropriately will help parents raise sexually healthy and safe children. Learn about common child behaviors and how to faciliate healthy sexual development.

  2. Know how to respond to sexual behaviors: As children grow up they will begin to explore sexuality through behaviors such as playing doctor, pretending to be mommy and daddy, and showing interest in where babies come from. Rather than responding to these situations in ways that make children feel they are doing something wrong, parents should view these opportunities as teachable moments. Learn how to respond.

  3. Teach child body-safety skills: Although children cannot be expected to fight off a potential abuser, parents and caregivers should still teach children skills to help them avoid unwanted touches. Educating children about unwanted sexual touches can lead to increased confidence in refusing touches that makes them uncomfortable and telling another adult. Learn what to teach children.

  4. Learn about sexual abuse and how to keep children safe: An estimated 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will become victims of childhood sexual abuse before age 18. Raising awareness of this issue can lead to a community-wide effort to prevent this harm to children. Take action.

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How We Prevent Child Abuse in Iowa

What we do and how you can make a difference.

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa 2704 Fleur Drive | Des Moines, IA 50321 | P: (515) 244.2200 | F: (515) 280.7835 | Toll Free: (800) 237.1815

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