In a shocking incident, recently, a 4-year-old girl was allegedly sexually abused by her two teachers inside the toilet of Kolkata’s reputed GD Birla School.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for 2016 shows the number of rapes of children have increased by over 82% versus 2015.
In 2015, 10,854 cases of rape under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under sections 4 and 6 of the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) were registered across India, while in 2016, the number of registered cases is 19,765.
With our children no longer safe even in school, it’s about time we talk to them openly about the bad touch-good touch.
Here are 10 tips to teach your children about sexual abuse:
1. Stop baby-talks
Children are smarter than we think they are. So stop baby-talking to them, From the age of two years make it clear to them which one are his/her private body parts.
2. Use proper names
Teach them the correct names of their anatomy and the functions of each part. It will help them and you to know exactly what is he/she talking about in case a situation arises.
3. Their body their property
Tell your children that no one has the right to touch them unless they are comfortable with it. Also add that no one is allowed to touch their private parts, even if the person is a teacher, or relative or a friend.
4. Use a soft approach
Don’t be stern while you explain these things to your child. It will only scare him/her even more. Keep a light and easy approach; more like a casual talk during playtime or at the dinner table.
5. Build a bond of trust
Try to be your child’s best friend – someone whom he/she can trust fully and confide in. Tell your kid that he/she can share everything with you. That way, even if someone sexually abuses him/her and threatens the kid to remain silent, your child will know who can protect him/her.
6. Use the undie rule
If your two-year-old is finding it too difficult to remember what parts are too private for anyone to touch, teach him/her the undie rule. The parts that his/her undergarments cover are private. No one is allowed to touch, poke, or rub them.
7. No undressing
Tell your child that he/she should not undress in front of anyone, no matter who that person is. Also, no one should click him/her naked.
8. Good touch-bad touch
Help them differentiate between a good touch and a bad touch. For example, a kiss on the forehead or cheek is a good touch, while a kiss on the lips is a bad touch.
9. Say No; Shout for help
Tell them it’s absolutely okay to say “no” to someone even if he/she is trying to hold a hand. Also, whenever in trouble, tell your child to shout for help.
10. Don’t force affection
Your child learns from your actions. Don’t force affection on him/her. Hold his/her hands, put a peck on his/her cheeks or take him/her on your lap only if your child encourages or feels comfortable with it.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.