Rowan U's CARES Institute Spreads Awareness for Child Safety
Dr. Martin Finkel, Founder and Co-Director of the CARES Institute at Rowan University discusses critical skills to help parents keep their children safe from predators.
"Welcome back to Life and Living. The statics are daunting. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be the victims of sexual abuse by the age of 18. It's an uncomfortable topic but one we can't shy away from if we want to protect our kids. I'm joined in the studio right now by Martin Finkel founder and co-director of the CARES Institute located on the campus of Rowan University in Glassboro New Jersey. Welcome to the program. Thank you, pleasure to be here. As much as I read and hear and try to comprehend what that means, that still as a parent of two young kids is just a frightening thing to think about. Talk about what we know about the insists of sexual abuse and inappropriate touching. Well unfortunately … well there … especially as a pediatrician and actually any parent wants to optimize their child's development. They want to make sure its healthy and sort of has a good trajectory to it. And there's some bumps in the road, and one of those bumps in the road can very well be, and unfortunately commonly is, sexual victimization. Engaging children in inappropriate sexual activities. And as a parent we could never image that could happen to a child. And we have … there's some myths … we think that our children are vulnerable to sexual victimization by strangers, don't talk to strangers, the guys lurking out from behind the bush offering candy. Thats a stereotype. Or the pedophiles you hear about on national tv, that represents a very small percentage of individuals who are likely to do something to a child that's inappropriate. So if its not that, what is it? What should we be worried about? So the fortunate reality is that most children if they experience something inappropriate are going to experience it by someone who they know, who they love, who they trust and who has easy access and opportunities to engage the child. Many times with young children in a very playful game life activity representing it to the child in a loving contexts. So it's important that we educate children about what's okay and not okay. Not good touch or bad touch, that's old terminology. Why is that old? What's wrong with that? Because as we thought about the issue, we don't want a kid to think if someone touched them inappropriate that their bad if we call that a bad touch. So the child takes on the shame of that. Yes. And they feel that they were bad, as opposed to the person did something bad to them. Right. In fact, if you ask most children, who's fault do you think it is what happen to you. What do they say, it was their fault. Well why do you..."