HYDERABAD: Parents of the kids studying in the DAV Public School face a rather delicate, yet a tough task these days, teaching their children how to differentiate between ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’.“We are confused how to explain to our children what is sexual abuse,” said the father of 4-year-old student of DAV Public School where a child sexual abuse (CSA) shocked the State.
These parents are not the only ones struggling with this delicate task. Considering that every child across the country is at risk of being sexually abused, mostly by a trusted person, almost all parents face this struggle.
“When parents start having conversations with their children about everything under the sun, it becomes easier for them to talk about this as well,” said Chhavi Dawari, who conducts personal safety workshops for schoolgoing children. Through her initiative, ‘Break The Silence’, Chhavi also trains teachers and parents about CSA. As soon as the child starts speaking, it’s important to introduce them to the idea of personal safety, she says.
Chavi says parents can start the conversation by talking about day-to-day incidents. “If a child gets a new pencil box, the parents can ask him/her about what he/she felt if someone would have taken it away from them? “This way, the child tends to understand the meaning of ‘personal’ on the basis of which parents can make them aware that it’s their responsibility to be able to communicate if something personal is taken away or being harmed,” Chhavi explained.
Parents can then slowly bring the idea of the body. Whatever parents talk about body safety or proper, improper touch should be very age appropriate. Vocabulary like “PP area”, “bums” will help toddlers understand easily,” she says.Parents can explain that mouth, chest, PP area and bum are the four most sensible parts of your body and nobody is allowed to touch, look or talk about them to you unless to keep you safe.
Chhavi suggests that it is necessary to talk to the children more than once. “Parents can make kids revise at least twice or thrice while dressing or giving a bath,” she says. Kids can be asked to indicate parents or shout as loud as they can if somebody touches them. “Asking them to show how they will shout will empower them more,” she suggests.