Talking to Your Kids About Abuse

by Marie on October 1, 2009

I was recently sent a children’s book to review entitled, My Body Belongs to Me by Jill Starishevsky. It’s a heavy topic, but I think this book helps give parents a platform to start a discussion about the important issue of abuse.

The author is Jill Starishevsky, a New York City child abuse and sex crimes prosecutor. She has seen many cases where the children never told anyone what happened and suffered in silence. So she decided that there needed to be a better way to introduce this into families, helping parents and children form communication of trust. This is where her book comes in. It’s designed to start a conversation with your children about abuse, in an inviting way.

I was able to read this to my 6 and 4 year old children and talk about what “my body belongs to me” means. I told them that no matter what, they could tell me anything they wanted and they would never get in trouble. And I made sure to tell them that if someone does something to them they aren’t comfortable with, to say so, tell me, their teacher, their grandparents, anyone they’d feel comfortable telling.

I even took this book around to parents in my neighborhood to see what they thought about it. Every single one of them said they’d read it to their children. One mother said that this type of abuse was in her family and that she has already been talking with her daughter about it. She said that this book would be a great way to show kids that it is okay to tell someone.

What do you think? Is this something you’d read to your kids? Are your kids ready to talk about abuse? Are YOU ready to talk about abuse?

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