INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- With the charges of child molestation against Indianapolis City-Councilman Jeff Miller, and the allegations that keep coming out about big names in Hollywood and politics, the issue of sexual abuse is dominating the headlines.
It is not a pretty subject to talk about, but experts say it is one that is especially important to discuss with your children, even though it can be terrifying.
“There’s not necessarily a certain age, you just want to set the stage for the conversation to keep occurring as the child gets older,” said Sandy Runkle-Delorme, of Prevent Child Abuse Indiana. She said discussions can progress and naturally get more sophisticated as a child grows.
“Start opening up some conversations based on the child’s development and that’s up to the parents,” said Runkle-Delorme.
But as some parents admit, it’s not always an easy discussion to have.
“It’s uncomfortable but it is important,” said parent Laura Grogan.
One of her daughters just learned about appropriate and inappropriate touching at school. She and her husband, William, said it’s something they take seriously.
“We joke about it, oh it will never happen to us,” said William, “but it happens everywhere.”
And experts say what’s happening around us, can also influence kids to speak up. Court documents show one of Miller’s alleged victims, a 10-year-old girl, told her parents that he’d massaged her inappropriately after she saw news coverage of Harvey Weinstein.
“That’s always positive to be able to use some of these unfortunate events that have been occurring as a teaching moment for children,” said Runkle-Delorme.
Court documents also say Miller was friends with both of his alleged victims—something experts say all parents need to keep in mind.
“When a child is perpetrated against,” said Runkle-Delorme, “it is almost always by somebody the child knows.”