Having conversations with other adults
Suggestions for how you could start talking about the topic of child sexual abuse with other adults.
Having conversations with other adults around you about child sexual abuse helps create a culture of safety to protect children and young people.
These conversations can be simple and positive, and by talking about this topic, you can play a role in helping to prevent child sexual abuse.
Each time we start a conversation, we break the silence and open up these conversations for others. Adults around us will feel like they aren’t isolated in being the first adult in their family, peer group or community to bring up the topic – it’s less scary if you're not the first person to talk about it.
You could be a parent, carer, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent or family friend. No matter what your role is, these are important conversations for us all to have.
How to start conversations
It might feel uncomfortable to start a conversation about this topic, but when we push through the discomfort and talk about it, we can break the silence and make it feel less scary.
You don’t need to wait for the perfect time or place to start these conversations. You can have them casually out for coffee, in the car, at a social gathering, or on the sidelines at sports practice.
Here are some suggestions for how you could start talking about this topic.
- You could tie it to something you have seen or heard. For example, you might say ‘Hey, I saw something on the news about child sexual abuse. I know it's really hard to think about, but it's just so common and we need to be talking about it more.’
- You can talk about what you are learning. For example, you could say ‘I’ve been learning about things you can talk about with kids that can help protect them.’
- You could raise what children and young people in your life have been learning. For example, ‘We've been talking to our child about body boundaries. We're trying to teach them what parts of their body are private. We’ve found that a simple way to approach this is…’
Share what you know and ask questions
If you’re new to the topic and nervous to start a conversation with a child or young person in your life, reach out to other adults around you. Hear from them about what they're doing and talking about.
If you’ve already learnt a few things in your journey learning or talking about this topic, why not share your experience with your family and friends to help them have conversations too?
When this topic is out in the open and adults are talking about things we can do to help prevent it, we help create a safe, solid support network around children and young people.