Whether you're a parent, family member, neighbor, or friend, the best way to protect a child from abuse is to have a good, open relationship with them. That means spending time with them, letting them know you care, and above all, listening to what they have to say.
It's important that they understand that they can talk to you about anything – no matter how disturbing or uncomfortable.
Encourage the children in your life to talk to you about their day, every day or as often as you see them.
Teach them to tell you if an older person ever asks them to keep a secret.
Make sure they know the difference between good touching (like a pat on the back or a quick hug for something done well) and bad touching, which is any touching that makes a child uncomfortable.
Be sure they know it's okay to say “no” to an older person – even if that person is someone they know and trust. Because the tragic truth is, most children who are abused are victims of people they know.