In honor of child abuse prevention month 2017,  this is the first in a series of podcasts & posts where we will discuss personal stories of survival, abuse prevention, strategies for talking with our children to keep them safe, how everyone can get involved, and so much more!

In this podcast, I’m joined by returning guest, friend, and Survivor Coach, Kelley McElreath. Kelley is a survivor herself and has dedicated her life to working with survivors of all types of abuse; helping them overcome their past and embrace a future of hope and healing.

Talking with our kids: For those that are survivors and parents, we have a unique perspective on what this month really means. Having lived through emotional and physical pain, the invalidation, the fear, the anxiety; we are better equipped than we might realize to help our children. It’s so important for us as parents to give our child everything they need to help keep them safe.

The statistics don’t lie, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. As disheartening as that might sound, there is hope to change the future. Just like all of us who are survivors, as we go along the healing journey, we learn that our past does not have to define our future. The same goes for generations to come; it’s imperative that we utilize every opportunity to try to turn the tide of those statistics, for their sake.

In line with talking to our children, we discuss the social pressures that come from their friends, at school, and social media. In today’s world, so many pre-teens andpreventing child abuse goes beyond the month of april - surviving my past teenagers alike have smartphones, or at least have access to the internet on computers at home. For that matter, even those who are just beginning their school age years have more access to the virtual world now, more than ever before. That’s something that isn’t going away either.

We also discuss the importance of educating ourselves as parents. We cannot afford to be in the dark about what today’s social apps are all about. More and more, the ability to chat secretly and privately is becoming easier to access, which means we need to equip ourselves with the knowledge of what we can do to keep our children safe.

On top of that, online gaming is extremely popular not only for adults but kids as well. Whether it’s on a gaming system on a computer, the ability to chat with players one on one is something that our children need to be careful of. It can be fun to talk to and meet new people, but for younger children especially, it can be very easy to fall into a trap of a predator without even knowing it.

Technology should not be something we fear, but we do need to respect it by arming ourselves, and our kids, with knowledge and awareness. Helping to keep kids safe and doing our part to end child abuse is everyone’s responsibility. No stone should be left unturned, no opportunity can afford to be passed by when it comes to the future our children.

It is my sincere desire that you’ll give the podcast a listen as Kelley and I discuss these topics and much more. Please also consider sharing it with those who you feel might also benefit from this information. We share openly and honestly, in hopes of encouraging and inspiring everyone to get involved as much as possible in this important cause.

Raising awareness for preventing child abuse is something that goes beyond just the month of April each year.


Images courtesy of Pixabay. Social Media images created by Matt Pappas.