important discussions

Consider consent as the foundation for all of your child's sexual education. It's important for kids to know that their body is their own, and that they don't have to let anyone touch them in a way that makes them uncomfortable. It can - and should! - be taught at an early age to help children understand autonomy, respect the boundaries of their peers, and if need be, discuss any violations or abuse with you. Below, we've listed some articles + resources that may help as teaching aids:

Teaching Consent to Kids Under 5 // The Atlantic
This is How You Teach Kids About Consent // Huffington Post
Teaching Consent...Without Sex // Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs
4 Ways Parents Teach Kids that Consent Doesn't Matter (video) // Parenting Gently
5 Everyday Ways To Teach Your Kids About Consent // Upworthy
How to Teach Consent to Kids in 5 Simple Steps // Everyday Feminism
9 Ways To Teach Consent To Your Toddler Before They're Old Enough To Explain It // Romper

Another conversation that may prove beneficial is teaching your children the proper anatomical names for their body parts, rather than euphemisms or cutesy alternatives. This will help them to communicate problems or discomfort with you, removes any shame or awkwardness about genitalia, and also begins fostering an environment in which they'll feel safe discussing sex-related topics with you. Here are a few arguments in favor of this approach:

Teaching Children the Real Names for Body Parts // NY Times
Body Smart, Body Safe: Talking with Young Children About Their Bodies // A Mighty Girl
Actual Anatomy: Teaching Your Children Body Parts // Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault

The decision to talk with your children about sexual abuse is obviously age-sensitive, but crucial. It can be a daunting topic to cover, especially without instilling fear. We've gathered up a couple of references that may help you to lay out all of the information.

10 Ways to Teach Your Child the Skills to Prevent Sexual Abuse // Child Mind Institute
How to Educate Children About Abuse // Our Kids
Talking to Your Kids About Sexual Assault // RAINN
Tip Sheet: Talking to Children and Teens // Stop It Now

child sexual abuse prevention, intervention, + support

The Five Steps to Protecting Our Children // Darkness to Light
Signs of Sexual Abuse in Children and Adolescents // Child Mind Institute
If You Suspect a Child is Being Harmed // RAINN
When a Child Tells About Sexual Abuse // Parents Protect!
What Should I Do After a Child Tells? // Stop It Now
Parenting a Child Who Has Been Sexually Abused: A Guide for Foster and Adoptive Parents // Child Welfare
Responding to and Reporting Child Sexual Abuse (Canadian) // Victims of Violence
Resources for Parents of Survivors // Stop It Now
Child Sexual Abuse - Symptoms, Cycle of Violence, Reporting, Recovery, Legal Action // Network of Victim Assistance
Child Sexual Abuse Statistics // Darkness to Light