Parents have a responsibility to protect their children and that includes protecting them from sexual abuse. This means that a parent should always be on the alert for signs or symptoms that their child is, or has been, exposed to a sexual abuser. A child should never have to bear the burden of preventing sexual abuse or for fighting off the abuser. Quite often, sexual abusers are in positions of authority or trust, such as day care workers, and the child may be confused about their role. In addition, those in authority will often use coercion, trickery, bribes or treats to entice the child into inappropriate sexual situations.
Awareness plays a big role in preventing sexual abuse. The Texas legislature passed Jenna’s Law in 2009 that mandates all public school districts adopt and implement policies aimed at prevention and increasing awareness of the sexual abuse of children. This law was amended in 2011 to include day care centers, charter schools, and child placement agencies.