81% of abuse happens in isolated, one-on-one situations between children and perpetrators.4 Through a process called “grooming,” abusers often become friendly with potential victims and their families, enjoying family activities, earning trust, and gaining time alone with children. This doesn’t mean that all one-on-one situations are bad – in fact, with safe adults, individual attention can be very healthy. The key is to create safeguards so that solitary moments don’t become dangerous.
Listen to this story:
So what now?
If you eliminate or reduce one-on-one opportunities, you can dramatically reduce the risk of sexual abuse. A good rule of thumb is to keep interactions observable and interruptable. Group activities, dropping in unexpectedly on your kids, and informing other adults that your family is savvy about safety and abuse are great ways to deter potential abusers.
Journal: What are some strategies you can implement to make sure situations with kids are always observable or interuptable? If you have kids, talk to them and ask them to help you strategize. Write down 3 ideas (here are some ways to get started!).