How to Discuss
Sexual Safety with Children
Every parent wants to protect their child from harm, but is there a way to prepare young children to be safe from sexual abuse without frightening them or damaging their innocence? Detective Diane Obbema, a 30-year veteran of law enforcement with 12 years served in the Crimes Against Children Unit, offers critical choices that parents can make to fortify the protective boundaries around their children in her new book, Protecting Innocence.
According to statistics, 93% of child victims know their molester, with most never telling anyone about their victimization. Understanding that children are most vulnerable to sexual assault between the ages of 7 and 13, Detective Obbema draws from her specialized training and investigation of hundreds of child sexual assault cases to give parents the skills they need to navigate this sensitive topic with their children before they reach this vulnerable age group and are approached by a molester.
Detective Obbema also gives parents insight on how molesters operate by providing glimpses of what transpires in the interrogation room. By using illustrations from her real-life cases, she makes a powerful impression on parents to help them understand what happens inside a child's heart and mind when pressured by an offender. Parents learn where children are vulnerable to molesters and practical steps to thwart potential exploitation. Parents learn the power they have to foster respect for the human body within the home, and what negative influences they will need to confront.
Protecting Innocence offers actual scripts for parent-child conversations to help parents feel comfortable in addressing topics many of them avoid. These dialogs teach the child proper names for intimate parts, what touches are okay and not okay, how to be assertive in uncomfortable situations, how to recognize and respond to internal feelings that warn of danger, and understanding good vs. bad secrets. These conversations help build a foundation of trust and openness between parent and child. This greater security gives a child confidence to talk with his or her parent any time... about anything.
Cecil Murphey, New York Times Bestselling author and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse himself, says of Protecting Innocence: “Because of Detective Diane Obbema's experience with Crimes Against Children, she is an expert and her insights show on every page. Although I've read dozens of books on the topic, this is the most practical and easy-to-read book I've seen on protecting our children.”
Protecting Innocence is a book that will benefit parents, grandparents, foster parents, social workers, teachers, therapists, daycare workers, and law enforcement.