HOW TO USE COMMIT TO KIDS

STEP 2: UNDERSTAND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Child sexual abuse can occur through behaviours that do not involve actual physical contact between an adult and a child.

For example:

  • Encouraging a child to touch themselves in a sexual way
  • Exposing a child to sexual pictures
  • Flashing or showing genital areas to a child
  • Making sexually suggestive comments to a child

Grooming is the technique an offender uses to manipulate a child into trusting him/her and feeling comfortable so that s/he can gain and maintain sexual access to that child. Grooming usually begins with subtle behaviours that do not look inappropriate, or that suggest the offender is very good with children.

In the grooming process, the offender:

  • Begins by establishing a friendship and gaining the child’s trust
  • Tests the child’s boundaries perhaps by telling sexual jokes, deliberately walking in on the child when they are changing, or engaging in roughhousing, backrubs, tickling, or sexual games
  • Progresses from non-sexual touching to “accidental” sexual touching. This can occur during play, so the child will not likely identify it as purposeful, inappropriate touching.

Grooming is often a slow, gradual, and escalating process of building trust and comfort with a child.

OUTCOME: Your organization will understand child sexual abuse, which is an important step towards preventing it.

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Sexual abuse almost always begins with subtle instances of inappropriate behaviour.