Talking to your child about sexual assault - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Talking to your child about sexual assault

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RICHLAND, WA - It can be difficult to talk about sexual assault with your child, whether they're involved or not.

Reporter Karly Tinsley spoke with a local advocacy group that provides resources for victims of sexual assault no matter the age.

It's very important that if your child says something has happened to them to stay away from "why" questions...like asking why didn't they say anything or why didn't they tell anyone.

That's just one of the many things Karly went over with the executive director at the Support, Advocacy, and Resource Center earlier today.

Having to talk with your child about sexual assault is never easy, but it's a conversation more parents need to have.

"Kids need to understand that either someone touching them in a private place or being asked to touch someone else is not okay," said JoDee Garretson with the resource center.

Garretson says first, you should be teaching your child to use the proper terminology when it comes to their bodies, in case something were to happen.

"Sometimes they don't...but when they do want to tell about being hurt they use different names and adults don't understand what they're being told," Garretson said.

Since kids might not come right out and say what's happened to them, it's good to pay attention to possible warning signs like problems with sleep, becoming aggressive, or if they're fearful of going to school.

"Really anything that is out of the norm for you child could be a red flag," said Garretson. "Of course, we don't want parents to think that their child has been sexually abused because they're acting differently, but it might warrant a conversation."

Garretson says the best thing is to be honest with your child, even if they're not directly involved. There are different tools you can use to bring up the subject.

"You know, 'hey, this was out in the news today, this person has harmed a child at your school and is now paying the consequences, is this something you would like to talk about?'"

And at the end of the day, the most important thing is to be there for your child and to believe them.

"To be available...really to have an adult, a caring adult who's available and listening to give your child that time...will make a huge difference."

Karly did reach out to the Granger School District's superintendent to see if they wanted to comment on the recent arrest of a teacher in connection with child pornography, but they did not return her call.

To learn more about the Granger teacher arrest, click here: 28-year-old Prosser first grade teacher sentenced to 27 years prison for child pornography

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