Protecting Your Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Quite possibly the most important project I’ve ever been a part of.)

Question: How are you protecting your children during the pandemic situation we’re currently experiencing?

During the pandemic, child abuse statistics have fallen. In West Virginia, and no doubt, all 50 states.

You may think that’s a good thing. I did. But it’s not a good thing. Over half of all reports of child abuse are made by school staff. Are the kids currently in school? No, they are not. That’s the reason child abuse reports are down.

And guess what? The very individuals who commit the majority of the crimes against children are now more stressed and more bored than ever. Not only that,

During the pandemic, abusers and sexual predators may now have increased access to your children either at home or online.

But don’t despair. A very fine group of nonprofits and talented individuals recently devised an excellent plan for protecting your children.

A while back there was a popular saying: “It takes a village to raise a child.” The above-mentioned group of concerned adults (which includes me) believes:

“It takes a village to protect a child.”

This “village” committed to protecting your children is made up of:

  • Shield Task Force: A nonprofit committed to eliminating childhood sexual abuse in West Virginia
  • Libera WV: A nonprofit committed to helping the women and teens of West Virginia identify and eliminate the obstacles in their lives
  • A number of gifted individuals including : the Senior Attorney at the Zero Abuse Project, a young actor, a writer/storyteller, a counselor, an expert in the area of online safety, a videographer, and a creative director

You can join our village if you share the videos we created with everyone who is a child, has a child, or works with children.

These videos protect children with a three-pronged approach.

The Wellness Module teaches children valuable skills such as:

  • Deep breathing techniques
  • Mindfulness
  • Relaxation
  • Naming emotions
  • Asking for help

The Body Safety Module teaches children:

  • To make a list of 5 trusted adults
  • To ask for permission from your parent or guardian in certain circumstances (ie. Accepting gifts, going places with an adult who is not family)
  • To talk about touches
  • The Bathing Suit Rule
  • To listen to their gut
  • To look for the helpers

The Online Safety Module teaches children:

  • Warning Signs: That an online individual may possibly be dangerous
  • The Billboard Rule: Don’t text an image you wouldn’t want to see on a billboard.
  • Consent: What does the word “consent” mean?
  • Internet Safety Rules: What are best practices when communicating with others online?

If you’re interested in protecting your children from harm — during and after the pandemic — make sure they watch these videos.

Maybe even watch the videos with your kids. That way they can ask you questions, or bring up situations they currently find themselves in. Plus, you yourself can learn how to better protect your kids by watching these videos. I know I did!

These videos — one set for K-5 kids, another for students in middle or high school — also feature a valuable list of resources that children (or adults) can utilize when they feel sad, mad, worried, or upset.

If you’re interested in protecting any and all children from harm, please share this post with anyone who is a child, has children, or interacts with kids on a regular basis.

The more views these videos receive, the more we all can reduce child abuse numbers in West Virginia and beyond.

LINK to VIDEOS

To read more on protecting your children, check out these additional resources:

Howdy-hey from Almost Heaven, West Virginia! Here in my 110-year-old Sears kit-house, I drink coffee, write many words, snuggle soft mammals, repeat.

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