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Parenting in a society dominated by rape culture

Tips for talking to your children about rape and sexual abuse

"Rape victims should make the best of a bad situation."

"Rape is kinda like the weather. If it's inevitable, relax and enjoy it."

"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Above are just three of the recent deplorable depictions of rape culture being tossed around news outlets recently.

In light of all the recent news, we felt it was time to bring the topic of parenting against rape culture back into the forefront. It's true, parenting against rape culture is not an easy task, but there are ways to approach the subject.

For those of you with tweens and teens, we hope you'll take a moment to watch the video above together. This video explains consent in a way that's easy to understand and will not make either of you feel awkward or embarrassed.

READ MORE: Real Talk: talking to teens about the opposite sex

Here are some more tips for parenting against rape culture:

1. Talk openly with your children. Good communication will help your child understand what constitutes rape and consent.

2. Teach your children about their bodies, about what sexual consent and rape is, and, when age-appropriate, about safe sex. Teach them words that help them discuss sex comfortably with you. 

3. Teach children that it is “against the rules” for anyone to touch them without their full consent as it is "against the rules" to touch another person without a clear no.

4. Be sure to mention that anyone can be an abuser might be an adult friend, family member, or older youth.

5. Teach children not to give out their email addresses, home addresses, or phone numbers while using the Internet.

6. Be proactive. If a child seems uncomfortable, or resistant to being with a particular person, don’t force them. Teach children that no means no and to and to not backtrack or back down after saying no.

7. Allow children to be confident in their emotions, their self and their decisions as well as to respect others emotions and decisions as well. 

We wish there was a way to guarantee our children will never be a victim of some kind in their lifetime. We can though help them to recognize behaviors in themselves and others that could lead to harmful attitudes surrounding sex, abuse and control while also giving them the tools they need to respect boundaries among others. Maybe we can then shift the culture of rape and carelessness to one of healthy respect for each other.