Have you ever encountered someone reporting a sexually active child? We believe that most parents hope to never come across an incident like this. Unfortunately, it does occur.
Sexual abuse can lead to long-lasting, even life-long, consequences. This serves as a crucial issue which needs prevention measures. Both minors and adults must participate in prevention work to substantially prevent the sexual abuse of children.
Courageously using your voice in this kind of matter is not easy. Not all people have the heart and guts to do what they can to prevent sexual abuse.
Thankfully, some victims and experts have shared their knowledge to raise awareness. The issue recently came to light thanks to TikTok content creator Catie Reay's Public Service Announcement (PSA) for parents out there.
Mum shares why parents should report sexually active child
Catie Reay usually posts videos to raise awareness and help parents manage sensitive conversations with their children. According to her, most of her posts come from real stories.
@thetiktokadvocate Reply to @thetiktokadvocate ♬ Paris - 斌杨Remix
“This is both a PSA for parents on how to have these conversations with your kids and a true story,” she said.
Catie Reay is a sexual exploitation survivor and advocate. She is one of many people across the globe who aims to use her online platform to raise awareness.
How to maintain composure before you report sexually active child
On June 7, she uploaded a video on Tiktok, about how to manage conversations with kids about sex.
In the video, Catie re-enacts a scenario where a daughter tries to open up to her mum about her classmate's sexual activity. As the story unfolds, we learn that the subject in their conversation is in the 4th grade. Despite the obvious shock, Catie remains calm and composed. She then proceeds to report the sexually active child.
Catie highlighted the importance of being calm and avoiding panic in such a situation. It is crucial that children never feel scared and intimidated to open up this kind of conversation with you.
Keep your cool and make yourself sound friendly. It is essential that kids feel the reassurance from you and that you appreciate them for trusting you.
Importance of sex education
Your children will rarely come to you and discuss sensitive topics if you’ve never had a conversation with them about sex.
Most people say that good education starts at home. In the video, Catie emphasises the essence of sex education at home.
Every parent must educate their child about sex properly and calmly. We would never know what could happen; the best thing parents can do is impart knowledge to their kids.
More importantly, they will be comfortable telling you sensitive topics like sex.
Additionally, children will be more likely to understand that sex is not for kids. They will be able to know and understand why they should not be engaged in that kind of activity at an early age.
Reporting child sexual activity
Catie Reay said that it is crucial to call the attention of people in charge and authority figures to take action. This includes the school, the parents and the police.
She emphasises the role of the school in this kind of matter - the school should be involved and should take the necessary action to prevent sexual abuse in children.
Additionally, Ms Catie Reay listed important questions to consider when reporting this kind of incident:
- Is this learned behaviour?
- Do these children’s parents know?
- Is there abuse involved?
- Is the other child involved safe?
The importance of this PSA
Catie aims to help parents how to manage conversations with kids about sex. With her PSA, She also hopes to remind her audience of the risks and consequences of engaging in sex at a young age.
“Children having sex is not only unsafe for their mental and physical health, but it significantly increases their likelihood of being exploited later in life.”