Child sexual abuse is a topic which is not talked about openly in public. Even though every second child is sexually abused in India, people are still silent on the issue.
It is very crucial for parents to start the talk the with their children. Through this article, we will be sharing five things which every parent should teach their children to prevent sexual abuse.
1. The correct names of private parts
During Our Voix workshops, we have seen parents use nicknames and unique names for their children’s private parts. Sometimes, they do not name it at all. Furthermore, in one of the workshops, our ‘champion’ pointed towards the chest in the ‘body-parts’ chart. Nobody knew what exactly it was called – some children named it stomach, while others preferred to remain silent. It is crucial for parents to teach the correct names of the private parts.
2. Teach about safe and unsafe touch
Help them to differentiate between the different types of touches. Teach them that the touch which makes them uncomfortable is an unsafe one. Also make the child aware of abuse which is not based on touch – such as any sexually-explicit word, gesture or pornographic material which should not be said or shown to the child. Teach them to trust their intuition and reinforce that trust.
3. Teach the ‘safety rule’
When touched inappropriately, the child should shout ‘no’, run and inform a person whom they trust.
4. Teach children the importance of raising their voices
Parents should earn the confidence of children that they will be heard when they disclose an abuse to their parents, and that their views will be respected. Teaching children to be silent is not the solution. At the same time, tell children that it’s not their fault if somebody abuses them.
Explain the meaning of the secret to a child. Also ensure that your child knows that a secret related to touch should not be kept to themselves, and should be shared with an adult they trust.
If you are a survivor, parent or guardian who wants to seek help for child sexual abuse, or know someone who might, you can dial 1098 for CHILDLINE (a 24-hour national helpline) or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call NGO Arpan on their helpline 091-98190-86444, for counselling support.