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How to talk about pedophilia with children to prevent and prevent it?


How to talk about pedophilia with children to prevent and prevent it?

How to talk about pedophilia with children to prevent and prevent it?

In recent years, the voice of victims of pedophilia and incest has become free. It is the role of adults to talk about this subject, still taboo, to the youngest in order to protect them.

How to approach it with our children and adolescents? 

What attitude to adopt as parents? What are the evocative signs of an underage victim of a pedophile? 

What is pedophilia?

An adult who has romantic feelings or a sexual attraction towards a child or adolescent is considered a pedophile. Acts relating to pedophilia (touching, rape, etc.) are punishable by law.

 Note that anyone who has knowledge of child abuse is required to report it to the courts or face severe prosecution.

In France, the sexual majority is set at 15 years. Below this age, it is considered that the concept of consent cannot be invoked.

Beyond 15 years and up to the age of majority is considered as sexual assault any sexual act of an adult on a minor over whom he has moral ancestry or authority (teacher, employer).

Chilling figures from recent years prove that these acts of pedophilia are far from an exception:

1 in 5 girls and 1 in 13 boys experience or have allegedly suffered sexual violence ,

200,000 underage victims file a complaint for sexual violence against their attacker each year .

Why is it important to talk about pedophilia?

To prevent and reduce as much as possible acts of pedophilia in our society, it is important to communicate on the subject.

Communicate to deter sexual abusers.

The more society knows about, recognizes and talks about pedophilia, the more likely it is that sexual predators will be aware of their criminal behavior and refrain from it.

However, the perpetrators of these types of facts, for psychiatric reasons, do not control their impulses and break the rules of law, just as we see in other modes of crime.

This is why it is essential to make children aware of this subject and to warn them.

Communicate to inform children.

It is impossible for a child to protect himself from an act of violence of which he is unaware of the prohibition and the seriousness.

On the other hand, by being sensitized to the concepts of sexual assault, he will be better able to identify a pedophile and react to an adult with abnormal behavior.

How to talk to your child about pedophilia?

It can sometimes be very difficult to discuss sensitive topics with the youngest… 

The goal? Alert children without frightening them! And above all, encourage them to talk about anything that troubles them.

The more children see that their parents clearly talk to them about everything that can happen in life, the more they will talk about the issues that concern them. Silence leads to silence, speech delivers speech.

From what age to talk about it?

It is between 3 and 4 years old, depending on their maturity, that a child realizes that there are differences between the sexes.

Little by little, he understands that the body has several functions (making babies and how babies are made, seeing his parents kissing each other on the mouth, etc.) and thus becomes aware of sexuality, which he has moreover sometimes unconsciously discovered itself through masturbation.

It is also from this period of life that parents can begin to do prevention, as part of their education, to address the subject of pedophilia with their child, using terms that are progressively adapted to their age. 

What speech to adopt?

Children need to learn that they do not have to be subjected to such violence and that, if it does, it is important to speak to a trusted adult right away.

It is therefore essential to explain to them the term pedophilia and that sexuality and sexual organs must remain hidden and intimate.

To do this, it should be said that they should not be shown or allowed to be touched by someone who is not authorized to do so or in a circumstance other than treatment.

The "someone" implies, the dad, the mom, the uncle, the grandfather, the brother, the neighbor, the friends of the family… Such recommendations can be made on the occasion of the toilet of the body or the visit to the doctor.

This theme must be approached in a natural and normal way, as each child is warned of any risk in life or in the street. Ideally, both parental figures are present during these discussions.

If by misfortune an assault occurs, the child should be invited to talk about the abuse to his mom and dad, without fear of reprisals, even if it is a person he knows well and even if this person is one of his parents and even (and especially) if this person asked him to keep it a secret or threatened him if he spoke.

How to act on a daily basis as a parent?

Some studies have shown that the more the father takes care of his baby to provide care (change, toilet, etc.), the more he is involved with his infant and not apart from the mother-baby duo, and the less there is  will be at risk of incest later. 

But sexual abusers are not just fathers, far from it.

It is permissible and legitimate to let your child under 3 years see themselves naked (take a bath with them, wash themselves ...) and therefore “satisfy” their natural curiosity to know what a human body is like and thus to see the difference between the sexes.

On the other hand, after this age of 3-4 years, it is important to establish relationships of modesty in family relationships:

we no longer show our naked body ostensibly even if we do not necessarily hide it,

we knock before entering the bathroom,

we no longer take the bath together,

your child is asked to wash their genitals on their own or to wipe themselves in the toilet.

Except in special circumstances of families practicing naturism. But in this context there too, there are rules of life and modesty.

How to recognize a child victim of pedophilia?

Spotting a child who has been sexually assaulted can be difficult if they don't speak. It is therefore advisable to be vigilant in the face of signs that may suggest that he is doing badly:

  • sleeping troubles,
  • school disorders,
  • anxiety,
  • sadness,
  • repeated pain (stomach ache, headache),
  • behavioral disorders (withdrawal into oneself, aggressiveness, sexual behavior, etc.)
  • agitation,
  • refusal to go to such and such,
  • and also, of course, any pain, irritation, or refusal to examine the genitals.

Note that all these signs of discomfort, which are in no way specific to these situations of sexual assault, should always be taken into account in a child.

 A discussion and a consultation with a health professional are required. Pediatricians are trained and adept at identifying normal behaviors from abnormal reactions in toddlers.

It is also important to remain vigilant about the relationship that a child may have with an adult around her as soon as she seems insistent or goes beyond what is legitimate.

 All the more so if the child does not show particular joy at seeing this adult and, a fortiori, if he shows reluctance towards him.


Since one cannot live in constant suspicion and mistrust of those around him, neither can one deprive a child of relationships outside the close circle of the immediate family.

It is essential that he sees the extended family, that he goes to see friends, including to sleep there, that he goes to a colony…

The main thing therefore remains for adults to learn and provide the means for minors. to speak with confidence, without fear, on any subject.