By ChicagoNow Staff, Thursday at 9:46 am
Editor's note: The below is contributed content via David and Tania Haigh. They are Chicago-based parents who have seen firsthand how damaging childhood sexual abuse can be to victims and their families. In 2017, they launched P.A.X.A. to help parents identify signs of sexual abuse and protect their families from predators.
In recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, newly founded nonprofit, Parents Against Child Sex Abuse (P.A.X.A.), is raising its voice to save children from sexual abuse and empower parents to act locally to prevent sexual abuse in their community. P.A.X.A., founded by parents, for parents, believes parental awareness and involvement is the key to reducing and eliminating abuse.
Top Ten Things Parents Can Do to Protect Their Children from Child Sex Abuse:
1. Recognize that there are predators in your community that are physically and sexually attracted to your child, no matter the age.
2. Begin the conversation with your kids about OK Touch vs. Bad Touch as young as age Two.
3. Educate your kids about the actual names for body parts (vagina/penis/butt).
4. Ask your children if anyone has ever touched her vagina or his penis at least once a year.
5. Believe your children if they answer you in the affirmative. Stay calm and demonstrate love & support.
6. Avoid sleepovers and situations where adults are alone with your child.
7. Educate yourself on child sex abuse symptoms for your child’s age group.
8. If you see something, say something. It’s better to be wrong than not speak up.
9. Demand sex abuse safety & accountability in all children institutions—schools, daycare/Montessori, camps, youth groups, music lesson/classes, sports teams, etc.
10. Report Child Sex Abuse - to the Department of Children and Family Services, the police and mandated reporters (doctors, teachers, etc.). It’s a crime, treat it as such.
For more information regarding these tips, visit P.A.X.A.’s helpful INFO CENTER on its website, at www.paxa.online, which helps illustrate the extent of the issue, as well as provide actionable tips for parents and community members to prevent and uncover child sex abuse.