Every other day we get to hear a news something like a kid hardly of age 4 or 5 got raped. What we do is watch/hear the news, condemn the incident, abuse the monster, say a few words for the victim (who hardly survives) and move on. Kids at that age are too young to understand what actually is happening/happened with them nor are they strong enough to defend themselves. The only thing parents can do is protect them from anybody and everybody.
The question is what is sexual abuse? When an adult or an older adolescent uses a child in any way for sexual stimulation it comes in sexual abuse. This can happen in many ways. When an adult touches any of kid’s body parts it comes in sexual abuse. Indecent exposure of the genitals to the kid is a form of sexual abuse too. If an older person makes the kid watch any sort of pornography, that also comes in sexual abuse. Actual sexual contact against a child, physical contact with the child's genitals (except in certain non-sexual contexts such as a medical exam), viewing of the child's genitalia without physical contact (except in nonsexual contexts such as a medical exams), or using a child to produce child pornography, it all comes in sexual abuse.
Do not be shy when educating your kid. Sit with him. Tell him what is sexual abuse. Give him all the confidence. Don’t always teach him how to be well mannered around his elders. Educate him how to move away from a person who doesn't make him comfortable. A kid always gets to know when he is touched in a bad way but he wont necessarily talk about it. If he comes to you and tells you anybody does it, don’t just accuse him of making up stories. don’t ever say to a kid ’that’ particular person cant ever do it. This will make your child more confused. Listen to him and take him into confidence. If you stop him from telling it to you once, he will never come back to tell you again. If a child does that, the abuser will get worst and you never know what can the result be.
There are many misconceptions about sexual harassment. We think only girls are the victims of sexual harassment. It happens many times that little boys are the ones abused. Don’t just protect your girls, protect the boys too. Its not just that men are the abusers, women do it too. Never think that there is a particular person who cant ever do it, anybody and everybody can be a child molester. If you think any of your close family relative or old family domestic servant cant do it, you are badly mistaken. Never trust anybody when it comes to your own children.
Many parents these days just provide modern facilities to their kids. A mobile or unlimited internet can also result in sexual harassment. It happens that the kids are sexually abused virtually too. If you are too ‘cool’ and too desperate to give all these things to your child before time, educate him first. A very nice article by Rabab Khan about educating kids based on a very casual incident happened a few days is here. Read it yourself and make your kids read it too.
When a child is sexually molested, don’t just think he will get over it with time. Forgetting incidents like these is more than impossible. It leaves a lifetime mark on a child’s personality. It happens many times that a childhood sex abuse victim becomes a future abuser. No matter how close the abuser is to you, never justify him. Always explain it to the kid what happened to him was wrong, the child never deserved it. The insecurity that takes birth in the child after the incident never dies. If you yourself cant do it, get some professional help to bring back the child to normalcy. Time does not heal every wound, some need serious attention too.
You can not protect your child all the time. As he grows up he has to go to school, has to go out to play with kids, or at times has to go to the market etc. Children who are old enough to understand things should be made aware. If parents can discuss family politics and can make them a part of it, they should be comfortable enough to talk to their kids about how they can become a victim so easily. He should know what he can possibly face once he gets out of the house. Don’t just protect your kids physically, mentally and morally; educate them too.