The recent debate heating up the web is whether or not children can be child sexual abusers, even if they are siblings. At the center for the debate is writer and actress Lena Dunham and her new book, in which she describes her sexual actions towards her younger sister and compares herself to a sexual predator. The truth is that ⅓ of child abusers are children themselves and Dunham's actions fit into the realm of sibling sexual abuse. Still the argument is out there, with people on both sides very heated about what defines sexual abuse among children. We know that child predators come in many forms and that they are usually someone that the victim knows and trusts. So when child predators are so good at disguising themselves and gaining our trust, how can we protect our children from becoming the abuser or the victim?

1. Monitor Television and Movies

We've all let our children watch some television shows from time to time that we know in our gut is not appropriate, but some parents take it too far. Children should not be watching the majority of the shows that come on television after 6pm. And they should definitely not be exposed to shows on HBO or any cable channels. We may think that our young children don't understand the shows or aren't really paying attention. But rather than the images and information going over their heads, it's actually sinking in and making them believe that the explicit, violent and sexual behaviors they see on the show are normal behaviors and they could begin to exhibit them.

2. Monitor the Internet

There is so much that your child can be exposed to on the internet. Pornographic images and videos are easily accessible and although most of us are vigilant about what are children are doing while online, we can't be sure of what they are doing at their friends' homes.

3. Always Be Wary of Babysitters

For many parents, daycare may not be an option. This can present a big problem when we have to head out to work. Do not leave your children with anyone you don't trust 110%. And if you feel as though something is off with the regular babysitter, no matter who they are, or with any childcare provider, do not hesitate to set up a video camera or stop by often for unexpected visits.

4. Set Rules About Friends' Houses

Don't let your children go to friends' homes without knowing the family. Accompany your child on the first visit and check things out. Don't ever let your child visit a home that you are not completely comfortable with.

5. Watch for Signs of Abuse

There are both emotional and physical signs of abuse to watch out for. Don't ignore them. Our children often tell us how they are feeling and doing without saying a word. Depression, anxiety, and regressive behaviors such as thumb-sucking can all be signs of something going on with your child. It's up to us to get through to them and ensure they are safe and well at home, at school, and at the park.

6. Listen to Your Children

If your children tell you that someone is hurting them or making them uncomfortable, believe them, even if that person is another child. We've all heard the stories of parents not believing their child when it comes to accusations of abuse. But the only option we have as parents is to listen and take our children at their word. The chances of a child lying about abuse is so slim that it isn't worth risking your child's stability and trust.

7. Monitor Your Own Behavior

As parents, we know that our children reflect our behavior. Because of this we should always be careful of how we show our affection to our significant other while in the company of our children. Affection is good, inappropriate affection is not so good. We should also be careful of how our adult friends behave. Dunham writes about her parents' pornographic artwork on display in their home, including the mother's photos of herself completely nude. This behavior classifies child abuse, and could be what lead to Dunham's sexual coercion of her sister.

So many victims slip through the cracks because no one notices the signs or because the abuser is a trusted friend or family member. We have to put aside our own feelings and take care of our children first and foremost. And that starts with being careful what we expose our children to from birth through adulthood from television and the internet to appropriate behavior in relationships and friendships. No matter what.