It is never too early to talk to your child about self protection from sexual abuse.
At Not Guilty we train children starting at the age of three.
Yet, despite those five steps, let us not put the responsibility on the child if their are too scared to report.
It is never the victim's fault.
Here are a few simple steps:
1. Always call body parts by their correct name. Do not use nicknames or funny names for private parts. This gives a false message to the child that private parts are somehow shameful.
2. Talk about private body parts as being those that are covered with a swimming suit in addition to your mouth which is also a private part. Say that your private parts are yours and no-one has the right to touch them or see them. Tell them also that you should never look or touch someone else’s private part even if they ask you to, coerce you to or tell you no one will .
3. Reinforce that no matter how awful a secret is you must tell someone you trust straightaway. If the first person does not believe you, keep telling your secret until someone does. If you are a parent, say you will always believe your kid.
4. Talk to your child about good secrets or surprises such as not telling someone about a birthday present. Discuss that there are also bad secrets such as someone touching your private parts. Reinforce that we should never ever keep that kind of secret. We should tell someone we trust straightway. Tell your child that it is never his/ her fault, that it is always the other person’s fault even if he/ she tells you otherwise.
5. Let your child know that if someone touches their private parts it is very wrong and they must say ‘stop’. Then they must tell someone they trust (who may be part of their network) straightway, even if the person who touched them says it is a secret they must keep.