Laurieann Thorpe, executive director of the non profit organization Prevent Child Abuse Utah. came to Good Things Utah to talk about how parents can help prevent child abuse from happening and educate their children on the subject. Founded four decades ago, Prevent Child Abuse Utah advocates to protect children from any kind of abuse The organization also wants to find the best ways and resources to help parents find the best ways for their children to be honest and open with them and how to talk about abuse if and when it occurs. 

While everyone knows it’s imperative to have these conversations with your children, many of us are left wondering how exactly we go about doing that. Thorpe bought a kit that provides parents with all of the tools and resources they need to have these difficult but necessary conversations. “Get comfortable being uncomfortable,” said Thorpe. “It’s one thing to talk to your kids, it’s another to teach them how to talk back when something has happened. That’s a really important relationship to build with your kids.” Having these conversations often and early can help kids understand what is appropriate and what’s not.

The kit comes with guidelines and measures on how to talk to children of all ages about this matter and includes a dinosaur stuffed animal, a book on body autonomy, and will cover over six weeks of conversations with activities and links for materials and everything necessary to help families stay safe. Thorpe also encourages parents using the proper anatomically correct words to avoid confusion and to make sure the correct information is reported. The kits also talk about explaining to kids what secrets to keep and what secrets to tell.

Thorpe shares that one of out seven children in the state of Utah will be sexually assaulted and 90% of the time it is by someone they know and even trust. When a child is sexually abused they will on average report the incident three times before action is taken and before the child gets the help they need. Because of this, Thorpe suggests setting rules and why they’re important and how we can keep kids safe and also talk about who is a trusted adult, which should be a minimum of five adults. Proceeds for these kits go to supporting programs educating children in schools as well as programs to educate parents and kids on preventative measures. 

To purchase a child abuse prevention kit, please visit shop.pcautah.org and enter promo code PCAU5 to get $5 off your kit. For free information and resources on how to talk to your child about abuse, follow PCAU on Instagram and Facebook: @Preventchildabuseutah and on TikTok: @PCAUtah