Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
Sexual abuse is a topic about which we should speak to children at an early age. The incidents of sexual offences against kids as small as two and three make it imperative that they are taught about it sooner than later. But as the age is very small, the talking has to be indirect. Parents must realise the importance of educating their child on these aspects.
It begins with making kids aware about their body parts. While children this age are usually aware about body parts like hands, legs, face, eyes, etc, they do not know which parts are private and shouldn’t be touched. Tell your child that there some specific parts of body which he/she shouldn’t allow anyone to touch, except parents. Not even uncles and aunts!
A child may get confused about it, like my daughters did. For they were very close to their grandparents. But one has to be very clear about it. This thing has to told to them repeatedly. After you have told, say about seven times, start asking questions ie which body part only parents can touch? This should be thoroughly ingrained in a child’s mind so that he/she revolts immediately if a person touches him/her inappropriately.
The second part of the teaching is to make them understand the difference between a good touch and a bad touch. Like touching the head. A small kiss on cheek or forehead, a small hug, cheeks pulled for smaller duration etc is a good touch while a long rub on the back, a pinch anywhere or prolonged cheek pulling followed by a lot of touch is a bad touch.
Kids may take a lot of time to fully comprehend all this, but, at least, a beginning will be made!