90% of the time when a child is sexually abused it’s by someone they know–someone within their circle of trust.

A circle of trust is the people you invite into your life and your child’s life. They are your friends and family members, your child’s coach and piano teacher, a school teacher or a church leader. These are the people who, whether intentionally or not, you have taught your child to trust because you trust them.

Statistically speaking, your circle of trust can be dangerous. But there are ways for you to fill your circle of trust with people who are as invested in protecting your child as you are.

Below are four questions to ask yourself when thinking about your circle of trust.

Who is in Your Circle of Trust?

Take a minute to think of who comes into contact with your child regularly. Family members, friends, coworkers, coaches, teachers, etc. These are the people who are part of your circle of trust.

How Do These People Interact With Your Child?

How often do they see your child? Are they ever alone with your child? Do they have unsupervised access on a regular basis? These are all things you need to consider with every person within your circle of trust.

Where Do These People Interact With Your Child?

Are they in public or private places with your child? You need to think through whether or not they have an opportunity to sexually abuse your child. If their contact with your child is limited to public places with you then your child would be safer than if the person has long periods of time alone with your child without you.

When Should You Create Boundaries for the People in Your Circle of Trust?

Right now. Don’t hesitate to alter the interactions between adults and your child. Setting limits and making the people in your circle of trust aware of these new limits are imperative to the safety of your child. It will make everyone feel more comfortable if you’re clear about expectations.

Carefully deciding who is in your circle of trust is not a matter of paranoia, it’s a matter of setting clear boundaries around your child. It allows you to lessen the likelihood that your child will be targeted by a perpetrator, and it allows your child to have a loving and supportive group of adults surrounding him or her.

With a tight-knit circle of trust you are able to have many people helping you protect your child from sexual abuse and any other risks of childhood. In reality that is what a circle of trust should be, a circle of protectors who want the best for your child.

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