1. Start early. Once kids start talking you can teach them what private parts are and that no one should ask to see their private parts or touch them there unless it is a parent for washing them or putting on medicine, a doctor for checking them, or a person a parent has told the child can help with washing or medicine.
2. Encourage communication. Tell your kids to come talk to you if they ever get a touch they feel confused about or don’t like. This could be anything, even a tickle or a hug. If a child doesn’t like it, then try to respect that. Children who are allowed to say no to any kind of touches they don’t like are more likely to say no if someone tries to cross a boundary, and are more likely to tell you about it too!
3. Stranger danger no more. When you do the safety talk make sure you do not overemphasize staying away from strangers. Most child sexual abuse is committed by someone the child knows. Tell your child that no one, even a family member, is allowed to touch their private parts.
4. Teach power words and asking for help. Teach your children to say “no” or “stop it” loudly if someone tries to touch their private parts or touches them in a way they don’t like. Have them practice yelling it out loud.
5. Sometimes telling once is not enough. Tell your children to find a trusted grown up right away to tell about any confusing touches. Tell your children to keep telling until someone believes them and helps them.
- “Uncle Willy’s Tickles: A Child’s Right to Say No” by Marcie Aboff
- “Some Parts are Not for Sharing” by Julie K. Federico
- “The Right Touch: A Read-Aloud Story to Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse” by Sandy Kleven
- “My Body Belongs to Me” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-5mdt9YN6I