Our Culture of Silence is Hurting Our Kids: How to use everyday moments to talk to kids about safety and sexual abuse April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and one organization has developed an easy way for parents to talk to their children about in-person and online safety
New York, NY | April 05, 2022 02:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Many parents know it’s important to talk with their children about sexual abuse but aren’t sure what to say. How do you find the right words and moments to talk with kids about their safety? One organization has developed an easy way for parents to talk to their children about in-person and online safety. Recently, VP of Education, Research, and Impact at Committee for Children & Mom of 2, Dr. Tia Kim, participated in a satellite media tour campaign to talk about how and when parents can start having these critical safety conversations.
A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/LVgUtn9B1uU
The Journal of Adolescent Health reports that 1 in 4 girls, and 1 in 20 boys report experiencing sexual abuse before the age of 18. And, according to The Department of Health & Human Services, children under the age of 9 are most likely to be abused.
Experts agree, informed children are less likely to be abused, and those who feel comfortable talking openly with a caring adult are more likely to disclose abuse if it happens.
In support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Committee for Children is launching its fifth annual Hot Chocolate Talk campaign to help families start conversations with their children about personal and digital safety.
“When parents communicate safety rules with children early and often, they create environments where kids feel comfortable asking questions and having difficult conversations, such as disclosing abuse,” says Dr. Kim.
The “Hot Chocolate Talk” how-to guides are designed to help make an admittedly awkward conversation feel as warm and comfortable as a mug of hot chocolate, showing parents and caregivers how to use everyday moments as touchpoints for these important safety talks.
“We know child sexual abuse can be a challenging subject to navigate. The Hot Chocolate Talk How-to Guides help parents and caregivers take the guesswork out of knowing what to say and when to say it,” says Dr. Kim. “A shared treat can help create a more comfortable atmosphere. We encourage families to sit down over a cup of hot chocolate and start the conversation today.”
Families can download the free How-to Guide at HotChocolateTalk.org, along with a variety of approachable, research-based resources that include guidance on how to respond to disclosure and how to identify signs of abuse.
Tia Kim, PhD Bio:
Vice President of Education, Research, and Impact. Dr. Tia Kim is a developmental psychologist, a parent-child relationship expert, and a mom of two. She believes in a strong family foundation, open lines of communication, and the critical role that parent-child relationships play in children’s safety and well-being. With her experience as a parent, education research scientist, and psychologist, Dr. Kim aims to provide families with simple, research-based tips and insights to help them start conversations about child safety. Dr. Kim began her career in academia but later decided she wanted to see her research in action helping children and youth. Today, she leads Committee for Children’s team of research scientists to develop and evaluate the quality, effectiveness, and impact of the organization’s social-emotional learning programs and family engagement work, including this year’s child sexual abuse prevention campaign, Hot Chocolate Talk. Dr. Kim received her doctorate in developmental psychology at the University of California, Riverside, and completed three years of post-doctoral training at the National Academic Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention. Before joining Committee for Children, she served as an assistant professor in human development and family studies at Penn State Brandywine.
About Committee for Children:
Committee for Children is a global nonprofit on a mission to ensure children everywhere can thrive emotionally, socially, and academically. Our founders designed our first program, Talking About Touching, to empower children to recognize, refuse, and report sexual victimization. We’ve broadened our scope throughout the past four decades to include bullying prevention programs, and today we’re best known for our innovative Second Step® social-emotional learning programs. Second Step programs blend research and rigor with intuitive design and reach more than 16.5 million children worldwide. Learn more about the work we do at cfchildren.org.