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Experts offer advice on talking to children about sexual abuse

Following the arraignment of a man accused of raping his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter, experts recommend the best way to discuss body safety with your child.

Following the arraignment of a man accused of raping his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter, experts recommend the best way to discuss body safety with your child.

Diane Lampkins, Clinical Manager at the Center for Family for Safety and Healing and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, says it’s a surprising and startling piece of information – sexual abuse against minors is often perpetrated by someone close to the victim.

“It’s very devastating for any family,” Lampkins said.

She says situations of abuse are damaging but communication is the strongest tool for both parents and children.

“You want to start talking to children about body safety as early as they are verbal,” Lampkins said.

“So if they are verbal at two and a half or three you want to start using the correct names and talking to them about body safety as casually as you would about wearing a helmet when you ride a bike.”

Lampkins says for those single parents, keep in mind who you date. Be sure to give your significant other a probationary period.

“When you’re going on a job there’s a 90-day probationary period and you certainly want to make sure that the people that you are bringing around your family," she said.