Talking about Safe and Unsafe Touch
Child sexual abuse (CSA) is very common both in India as well as worldwide. Parents can help in fighting this menace by learning about all aspects of CSA – how it happens, why it happens, why the child does not tell, what you can do if you find out about it, how to support the child and what to do about the perpetrator. A small scenario here gives us a brief idea of how to have this conversation with children. For more information do reach out to us.
Mother: I want to talk to you about being safe. You go by yourself to play, to school and sometimes to the shop. You know road rules. We have taught you those. Now here are some Personal Rules, for Personal Safety?
Boy: Personal Rules?
Mother Takes a doll. Yes, Personal Rules. Firstly no one can touch your body without your permission that means that the auto or bus driver cannot pinch you or twist your years or hug you. Secondly, people touch each other casually on the head, hands and shoulders like a pat on the head or on the shoulder or shaking hands. (shows on the doll) This touch is Safe Touch. It is alright. Got it so far?
Child: Yes. No one can touch me without my permission. I am the boss of my body?
Mother: Exactly. Now the third rule. No one can , even casually , touch you in the parts that we always keep covered with clothes. Look at this doll these areas, covered with clothes, are private. Touching here is Unsafe?Touch. You shut the bathroom door while bathing, or using the toilet don’t you? Because these parts are private.
Child is giggling.
Mother: Yes we feel shy even while speaking about it don’t we. But it is a very important part of our body. Imagine if some one was not able to pass urine or motion? They would die! Now the last rule. If some one does touch you without your permission, bothers you or forces you, then you must come and tell me. Okay?
Child: Ok. Can I go and play now?