How to Protect Children From Sexual Abuse


Child sexual abuse knows no demographic boundary. It is just as likely to occur in our small, rural communities as it is in larger, more urban areas. The rates are the same regardless of race, class or geography.

Nationally, one in ten children is sexually abused before his or her 18th birthday. In the Grand Traverse Region, authorities respond to child sexual abuse cases on a daily basis. And how many assaults take place that go unreported? Sadly, perhaps the majority of them.

That’s why child sexual abuse needs to come out of the darkness and into the light. So we can create a new culture of awareness and action.

Informed adults can go far in keeping children safe from harm. The more we know how child sexual abuse happens, the more we can protect the children in our care.

Three steps to keep children safe:

  1. Understand the issue
    It is human nature to think that a person who is friendly, considerate, educated, and respected by others is incapable of abusing children. Ironically, this is the very mindset that keeps children at risk. Learn the truth about child sexual abuse.
  2. Limit the risk
    Adults call the shots when it comes to how children spend their days. You have the power to assess risk, ask questions and shape the nature of a child’s interpersonal interactions.
  3. Trust your gut
    Gut instincts may be the best warning signs of the potential for abuse. Adults have been relying on gut instincts to protect children forever. Using those instincts to protect children against sexual abuse is no different.

Step 1: Understand the Issue

I Need To Report