Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality Small Group Curriculum Leader’s Guide, Session 5 Sexual Abuse: Prevention and

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INTRODUCTORY SESSION NOTES In order to make the most out of facilitating this series experience, be sure to read the curriculum introduction document in Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality prior to preparing for Session #5.

THE BIG IDEA As parents, we have the primary responsibility for our children’s well-being; that means it’s our job to help prevent sexual abuse by teaching and training our children about this very important problem in our society. Goals of the Session • Explore the signs and signals of sexual abuse. • Challenge participants to choose to be a parent who engages their children in the discussion of sexual abuse in our society. • Discover tools that will help participants feel more confident in assisting someone who has been sexually abused. • Lead participants in taking action to preventing the sexual abuse other.

LEADER’S PREPARATION • Read chapter 6 of Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality before the session. As you do, highlight ideas, quotes or comments that you would like to explore in the group setting.

SUPPLIES • Television and DVD player • Prior to the session, make sure that each participant (or couple) in the group has a copy of Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality. • Print enough copies of the Participant’s Guide Session #5 from the CD-Rom to distribute to each participant at the beginning of the session. • Enough white sheets of paper for each participant • A large box or crayons • Enough pens or pencils for each participant to use

LEADER’S NOTES As we mentioned in the last session’s leader’s notes, during this session you will be exploring the issue of sexual abuse. As a reminder, while this session is designed with young people as the focal point, undoubtedly issues from the past will arise for participants as well. Be ready to hear some stories and do your best to help participants walk through their own hurt and pain. Once again, be very sensitive to the balance between “getting through the material” and doing the more pressing work of ministering to the lives of the people in your group.

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1. Getting Connected:
JUST FOR FUN (OPTIONAL) Parenting Common Bond: Divide participants into teams of at least four people. (Or you can choose to have two teams if your group size is small. Have participants turn to the “Parenting Common Bond” page in their Participant’s Guide. If you choose not to use this activity, don’t print it as part of the Participant Guide. In this activity, each team will create a list of items they have in common with each other when it comes to parenting. Give teams 5 minutes to come up with their lists. When the 5 minutes are up, have each team read their lists to the rest of the group. The team with the most items wins. For example, items could include: • We check our kids’ MySpace or Facebook profiles at least once a week. • We give our kids regular allowances. • We have set limits on how much television our kids can watch. • We have a family devotional time at least once a week. • We have a family dinnertime at least twice a week.

CHECK IN Have participants pair up with a partner from their small group last week and take a few minutes to share with each other what happened regarding their plan to discuss the consequences of sexual activity outside of marriage with their children. Invite the group to gather back together and ask the following questions: 1. Now that we’ve been together for four sessions, what is one main thing you have learned from our reading and discussions together? 2. How has our time together changed the way you parent? How have these sessions changed your relationship with your child?

2. Getting Started:
Introduce the session by saying that we’ll be exploring the issue of sexual abuse: bringing hope and seeking prevention. Hand out a white sheet of paper to each participant and set out the large box of crayons. Have each participant take a moment to draw images or symbols of their feelings when they think of the phrase “sexual abuse.” Remind participants that there is no right or wrong here, you just want them to express their feelings visually. (Be aware that in this kind of exercise, feelings of hurt and anger over the past may emerge in some of the drawings that participants create.) After everyone has finished their drawing, ask several people to share what they drew and what it represents for them. Not everyone will feel comfortable sharing what they drew and why, so be sure to allow people the freedom not to share what they’ve drawn. Ask the following questions: 1. Why do you feel sexual abuse is so devastating to its victims and families? 2. Have you seen the effects of sexual abuse first-hand in the life of someone you know? What kind of effect did it have? 2 | Small Group Curriculum – Leader’s Guide, Session 5
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3. Video:
Introduce the video segment, letting participants know that this week you’ll be discussing the issue of sexual abuse. In the video, Jim will be discussing the importance of reaching out with love and hope to those who have been sexually abused, as well as bringing hope to anyone in your group who may have been sexually abused in the past.

4. Going Deeper:
Lead your group through the following discussion questions: 1. As you read chapter the chapter on sexual abuse, what was your reaction? How did this chapter challenge you, connect with you, or impact you? 2. Review the signs and signals of sexual abuse listed on your Participant Guide (also at the end of this Leader’s Guide session). Remind participants that, according to Jim, “It is very normal for most kids to have some of these symptoms and not be sexually abused.” Prompt participants to take a moment to put an exclamation point next to the signs they feel ought to raise the most caution that sexual abuse might have taken place. Allow participants to share and interact with each other about the signs and signals they chose. Then ask: In what ways are these signs and signals of sexual abuse new or surprising to you? 3. Review with participants the three steps Jim outlines for parents to take if their children report sexual abuse: a. Go with your child to a private place where they will feel comfortable talking. b. Express concern for your child. c. Don’t think you can handle it alone. Why are each of these three steps important? Which of the three do you feel would be most helpful and why? What resources can you think of right now that would be of assistance if your child ever told you they had been sexually abused?

LEADER’S NOTE This might be a good time to let participants know what the phone number is for Child Protective Services in your particular area. You might also want to have a phone number for a professional Christian counselor who is trained in dealing with adolescent sexual abuse. 4. Knowing what to do if we suspect that our child has been sexually abused is obviously a skill we need to have as parents. But preventing sexual abuse is just as valuable. Let’s take a few minutes to brainstorm a list of as many ideas as possible for how we can help prevent our kids from becoming victims of sexual abuse.

LEADER’S NOTE Allow participants to respond. Encourage them to write the group’s ideas down in their Participant Guide. If participants mention ways that Jim included in the book, (“It’s okay to say no.” “If in doubt, stay away.” “Develop a ‘report in’ policy”), that’s great! If they don’t, go ahead and add these to your group’s list.

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5. In the Word:
LEADER’S NOTE This section has been created in an effort to have participants interact with what the Scriptures have to say in regards to this session’s topic. Depending on the amount of time you have for this section, you can choose between either having the entire group read through the passage and discussing the questions, or forming smaller groups of 4 to 6 people to foster relationship-building and greater participation in discussion. Read Jeremiah 29:11 1. What are some of the emotions someone who has been sexually abused might feel toward God? Are these valid? Why or why not? 2. How do you see this verse applying to someone who has been sexually abused? 3. How could this verse be misused or misunderstood? How could the message of this verse be communicated to someone who’s been hurt or victimized? 4. Why do you think it is so difficult for someone who has been sexually abused to envision a “hope” and a “future”? 5. How can you offer hope and a future to someone who has been sexually abused? Brainstorm examples of things you could do or say.

6. So What?
Have participants get into groups of three or four. Have each group read the Kaitlyn story in their Participant’s Guide. Have each subgroup work through the questions found on the handout: 1. If you were Kaitlyn’s mom, what would you say to her? 2. Do you feel that Kaitlyn has been sexually abused? Why or why not? 3. What action, if any, would you take in this situation? Prompt everyone to gather back together as a group. Invite participants to briefly share their responses to the Kaitlyn handout. Ask participants take a few moments to answer the question under the So What heading on their Participant Guides: What is one action step you want to take in the coming days to either prevent or deal with issues of sexual abuse with your children? Practical Action Step Ideas (Samples to help participants think through what they might write.) • Have an age-appropriate discussion with my kids about what sexual abuse means. • Ask kids from time to time about whether they have felt they have been sexually abused. • Take a more thorough approach to investigating backgrounds of babysitters.

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7. Conclusion:
Close your time together by spending few moments in corporate prayer. Allow participants the freedom to pray about whatever they wish, either out loud or in private. Close the prayer time by asking God to give participants strength and peace to know how to go about talking with their children about the issue of sexual abuse.

8. For The Next Session...
Encourage participants to read chapter 7, “Dealing with Your Own Sexuality,” in preparation for the next session. Also, encourage each participant to bring an object with them to the next session which represents the vision of a healthy sexuality that they have for their children.

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Parenting Common Bond
As a team, create a list of as many items as possible that you all have in common when it comes to parenting. The team that creates the largest list in five minutes wins. FOR EXAMPLE, ITEMS COULD INCLUDE: • We check our kids’ MySpace or Facebook profiles at least once a week. • We give our kids regular allowances. • We have set limits on how much television our kids can watch. • We have a family devotional time at least once a week. • We have a family dinnertime at least twice a week.

Our Team’s List

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Kaitlyn
15-year-old Kaitlyn arrived home from her usual babysitting job, and she was acting a little unusual. Her parents asked her how her evening went, and she reported that everything went okay. Kaitlyn’s mom pressed her a bit sensing that something wasn’t quite right. Kaitlyn finally told her parents that when the baby’s mother and father came home, that she was sitting on the couch in the living room. The mother went down the hall to check on the baby. The father immediately sat down on the couch right next to Kaitlyn and proceeded to put an arm around her with his hand on her shoulder. Kaitlyn could tell that the father had been drinking alcohol. He thanked Kaitlyn for helping out and for being a good babysitter and he made a remark that she looked very nice tonight. But, the father’s behavior made Kaitlyn feel very awkward. When she heard the baby’s mother coming back down the hallway to the living room, Kaitlyn immediately stood up and grabbed her coat. The mother gave Kaitlyn a ride home. As a group discuss the following questions: 1. If you were Kaitlyn’s mom, what would you say to her? 2. Do you feel that Kaitlyn has been sexually abused? Why or why not? 3. What action, if any, would you take in this situation?

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Signs and Signals of Sexual Abuse
YOUNGER CHILDREN • Bed-wetting • Sleep disturbances • Nightmares • Lack of appetite • Clinging with a fear of being left alone or with someone they have been alone with • Depression • Sexually acting out or sex play with dolls or toys • Drawing naked pictures • Acting seductively • Acts of sexual aggression OLDER CHILDREN • Learning problems in school • Poor peer relationships • Self-destructive behavior, suicidal, medicating their pain with drug and alcohol abuse • Nervous, aggressive, disruptive, destructive behavior (perhaps acting out their hurt to secure attention) • Running away • Seductive and promiscuous behavior • Shutting down sexually and emotionally • Lack of trust and hostility toward authority figures • Fear of going home, fear of being left alone with the abuser • Severe depression • Pain, itching, bleeding, bruises in the genital area • Extremely low self-esteem

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