Recently, veteran actress Daisy Irani opened up about her story of sexual abuse. She was raped and abused when she was just 6-years-old. It took her more than 60 years, to open up about the incident. Contrary to one would imagine, sexual abuse of children is much frequent.
We teach our kids to watch the traffic, hot stove, but more often than not – body safety is not taught until much older – until sometimes…it is too late. Teaching children about sexual abuse is the best way to help keep them safe. Teach them:
1. Teach about body parts
Yes, we all teach our kids about the head, eye, hands, and so on. However, we often conveniently leave out the private parts. Teach them the actual words for the private parts and accustom them in a way that they are comfortable identifying those body parts. This will help the kid to speak clearly in case anything inappropriate happens.
2. Teach about boundaries
Mention as a matter-of-fact but regularly that there are some parts of the body that no one should touch. Also, teach them not to touch anyone else’s private parts. It is hard talking to a kid about something so grave but precaution is always better.
3. No secrets
“If you tell anyone, everyone will scold you,” “If you tell your parents, they will not love you anymore,” or “If you tell someone, I will not play with you anymore” these are some of the common phrases used by the abusers. Teach your children that they can share any kind of secret with you.
4. Types of touch
It is essential that you talk to your kids about the parts that are fine to be touched by others and the ones that aren’t. The good touch is that which doesn’t make your kid feel uncomfortable. Your child needs to learn that the bad touch will make them uncomfortable and they should seek help.
5. Safe circle
Help your kid to identify those people around you whom he or she can trust. Though there might be chances of someone being an abuser among them, this is a risk you have to take. Include only those people who are close to the kid.
6. No picture
If someone insists on taking pictures of your kid’s private parts then unknowingly she or he might allow. It’s essential that you teach them from a young age that taking pictures of private parts is not fine. Encourage them to say ‘no,’ this will also teach them about consent.
7. Code word
Teach a code word that your young one can use when they are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable around someone.
8. Be open to questions
When you talk with your kids about their body and the ways to keep themselves safe, then they will have many questions. Do not shy away from answering them. If they find a place of confidence in you then they will share information which might help you in avoiding the grave situation.
Here is a video explaining the ways in which you can talk to your kid about their body.
Do you have something more to add? Let’s know in the comments below.