Tuesday, November 1, 2011
An in-depth and informative talk ‘Awareness and Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse’ was held on Sunday, 23rd October 2011, at the Visitation Parish Hall, attended by about 60 parents and adults. It was organized by the ‘Visitation Emmaus Counseling’ Ministry and ‘Family Life’ Ministry, of Visitation Church Seremban. Ms Wong Lai Cheng from ‘Protect and Save The Children,’ a non-profit, non-governmental organization of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, presented the talk and a DVD show which explained, and enlightened those present on; What is Child Sexual Abuse? Who sexually abuses children? When and where can it happen? What can an adult/parent do to protect the child? And, was shown, case presentations of boys and girls who shared their story of sexual abuse and exploitation, on video.
Ms Wong Lai Cheng shared with the adults on the need to be alert to signs of sexual abuse and to always listen, pay heed to what their children tells about their encounters or events that took place, or talks about their feelings, about sexual abuse, and not to dismiss it as a tale or their imagination. She told parents to start a dialogue with children about sexuality, that open and honest communication about sexual behavior and feelings that is appropriate for the age of the child, signals to the children that it is okay to discuss these things and also to teach them the correct names of their private body parts, as they teach the names of their other body parts. She highlighted to parents, how children should be told about ‘appropriate and inappropriate touch’ by strangers or even known persons. To always, ‘run, run, run and tell …tell someone’.
Ms Wong explained that every adult and parent need, to be aware, to be educated, in order to empower and to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation; to be able to create a safe and nurturing environment for children so that their lives are free from fear and to feel safe at all times.
Many questions from the adults/parents were satisfactorily answered by Ms Wong before concluding, and she was also personally approached by some parents after the talk.
It was a most interesting and informative talk, well delivered together with DVD presentation and created a great awareness on the subject ‘Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children’, which in my opinion could benefit many more parents and adults in our parish.
Prepared by Irene Lopez