Kimberly King, an award-winning author, educator, and advocate on the topic of sexual-abuse prevention, is set to release her latest book, Body Safety for Young Children, Empowering Caring Adults, on November 1, 2023.
King, who is based in Stratford, Connecticut, is passionate about sexual abuse prevention because she knows a great deal of it can be prevented.
As a kindergartner teacher, King has heard a number of reports from children through the years.
She said, "My first year of teaching kindergarten was especially difficult. As a new teacher I was terrified. I was worried about losing kids, fire drills, and everything thing else that could possibly go wrong. That first year—I got a report of sexual abuse from a student. But, when she tried to tell me the first time… I missed the report."
King said the child told her that, “her dad took her cookie” but disregarded this story, not knowing that this little girl was referring to her private parts.
The next day the little girl came back and told King the same thing but she added… "and it hurts".
King asked the girl to show where it hurt.
"I was shocked to see her pointing to her private area. She didn’t know my word, and I didn’t know hers. She tried to tell!" recounts King.
She said that most kids, 70%, never do tell!
This little girl was so brave.
Fortunately, King was able to get her help right away.
And the next day they talked about private parts and the anatomically correct terms.
Knowing the correct body part terms is essential in body safety. Anatomically correct terms have nothing to do with sex. Or sex education.
King says it's critical that parents and teachers are empowered on prevention strategies, while at the same time we have to teach children body safety basics.
She knows how important this is on a personal level.
"I was a victim of sexual assault in college and didn’t tell anyone," King said. "My goal is to empower every adult with these critical strategies. Predators don’t want us to talk about this topic. They want us uneducated and uninformed. They want us to keep secrets. This book will change how we talk about child sexual abuse."
Indeed, King has made this tough topic light, approachable, and authentic.
She says, "I can’t wait for you to read it and implement body safety strategies today."
You can learn more about Kimberly's work on her website, Tough Topics Mom.