The response to the recent #MeToo movement has been staggering. Women all over the world on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been posting updates with the hashtag #MeToo to signify that they have been victims of sexual harassment or assault.
The movement has exposed just how widespread sexual assault and harassment are for females of all ages. We must not forget that boys are also victims of abuse. With this in mind, it is becoming more and more important to teach our children how to be self-aware and how to recognize when they are being sexually harassed or assaulted.
One way parents can educate their children about these dangers is to provide them with concrete examples of what is appropriate behavior and what it is harassment or assault. If they have never been told what dangers exist, they may not recognize them if they were to ever find themselves in a compromising situation.
Parents can also encourage their children to communicate with them. If children know they are being sexually harassed or abused, but they do not feel comfortable telling their parents about it, the problem can manifest within them, leading to depression and anxiety. When children believe that their parents are open to hearing about all of their experiences and feelings, whether they are positive or negative, they will be more comfortable coming to their parents.
In today's society, there are so many voices being heard. Some voices encourage and lift girls and boys and make them feel empowered, while others downplay the different levels of sexual harassment and abuse and may even blame the victim. It is important as parents to be the only voice that matters to children. In a world where they will hear so many conflicting things, it is vital that they are able to rely on their parents for what is right and what is wrong. To raise self-aware young people, parents must remind them often that they are worthy, are loved, and should be respected.