Keeping Kids Safe from Inappropriate Touch
We teach our children water safety and road safety — it is equally important to teach our children ‘body safety’ from a very young age. As both a teacher and a mother, I strongly recommend to all parents that ‘body safety’ become a normal part of your parenting conversation. The sexual abuse of children has no social boundaries, and providing children with body safety skills empowers them with knowledge of what is good and bad touch.
The statistics of 1 in 3 girls and I in 6 boys will be sexually interfered with before their 18th birthday is truly frightening, and as many experts point out, this statistic only reflects reported cases. Also 93% of children will know their perpetrator. The community’s focus has so often been on ‘stranger danger’ — however, the reality is, the perpetrator will be most likely be someone in the child’s immediate family circle and a person they know and trust.
There are a number of fantastic books available to teach children body safety skills. Children are visual learners so story is an excellent medium when broaching this subject with your child. Here are my top ten.
Top Ten Books to Empower Kids About Their Bodies
1 ‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’ written by Jayneen Sanders , illustrated by Craig Smith, published by Upload Publishing 2011
2 ‘My Body Belongs to Me’ written by Jill Starishevsky, illustrated by Sara Muller, published by Safety Star 2008
3 ‘Everyone’s Got a Bottom’ written by Tess Rowley, illustrated by Jodi Edwards, published by Family Planning Queensland 2007
4 ‘Matilda Learns a Valuable Lesson’ written by Holly-ann Martin, illustrated by Marilyn Fahie, published by Safe4Kids 2011
5 ‘Jasmine’s Butterflies’ written by Justine O’Malley, illustrated by Carey Lawrence, published by Protective Behaviours WA
6 ‘Amazing You’ written by Dr Gail Saltz, illustrated by Lynne Avril Cravath, published by Penguin 2005
7 ‘The Right Touch’ written by Sandy Kleven, illustrated by Jody Bergsma, published by Illumination Arts 1997
8 ‘It’s My Body’ written by Lory Freeman Girard, illustrated by Carol Deach, published by Parenting Press 1982
9 ‘I Said No!’ written by Zack and Kimberly King, illustrated by Sue Rama, published by Boulden Publishing 2008
10 ‘Your Body Belongs to You’ by Cornelia Spelman, illustrated by Teri Weidner, Albert Whitman & Company 1997