Body Safety Hints for Tweens and Teenagers

shutterstock_45934162.jpg

You are growing up and your body is changing, but keeping yourself safe from harm is still the same as when you were younger. Remember YOUR body is YOUR body and no one has the right to touch it if you don’t want them to.

1. Don't allow a person to touch any part of your body or come inside your body boundary if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Speak your mind and tell them to STOP. Make a scene if necessary. Or tell a trusted adult if they won’t listen to you. No one has the right to touch you anywhere or come very close to you if YOU don’t want them to.

2. No one should ask to see your private parts, show you their private parts, ask you to touch their private parts or show you pictures of private parts. If they do, you need to get away quickly and tell a trusted adult straightaway. Asking you to do these things is NOT okay.

3. Giving your ‘consent’ means you have happily said ‘Yes’ to doing something, for example, you may say ‘Yes’ to holding hands or kissing. If some one tries to convince you and/or puts pressure on you to do a sexual act that you DO NOT want to do, this is NOT okay. Even if you feel like you can’t say ‘No’ to that person or you say ‘Maybe’ or ‘I’m not sure’ this does NOT mean ‘Yes’. What that person is doing is called ‘coercion’ and you need to tell a trusted adult straightaway. Remember you DO NOT have to do anything you don’t want to do. Your body is YOUR body!

4. If someone asks you to send them naked pictures of yourself, you do not have to do this. When you are under 18 it is actually against the law to send naked pictures to another person.

5. Do not disclose any personal information online or offline. This includes your address, school, phone number, etc. Make sure if you go out that a trusted adult knows where you are going.

6. When you are dating, both you and your partner need to be respectful of each other. Be wary of anyone who tries to control:

• what you do (they may read your texts or stalk you on social media or in life)

• what you say and/or

• where you go.

Violence (or the threat of violence) of any sort including intimidation, yelling and striking is NEVER okay. This is not respectful and this is NOT love.

7. When you are dating you ALWAYS have the right to change you mind. This may mean that you don’t want to date that person anymore. This may also include changing your mind and stopping a sexual activity that you may have agreed to in the past. Remember you have the right to change your mind at any time and this needs to be respected. When you say ‘No’ or ‘Stop’ the other person MUST stop.

8. Always trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe or a person makes you feel unsafe, act straightaway. Leave the situation and go to someone you trust and who makes you feel safe.

9. Remember you are NEVER EVER to blame if someone is disrespectful, violent, doesn’t listen to your wishes and/or tries to coerce you into something you don't want to do. All blame lies with that person. Never worry about making a scene. Be loud if you need to be to stop their actions. Never feel shameful or guilty because of another person's actions.

10. It is okay to go on dates and to flirt and to have fun. This does NOT mean you have agreed to any sexual contact. Remember when you say ‘No’ or you don’t say anything at all, this DOES NOT mean ‘Yes’. And even if you do say ‘Yes’ you can withdraw that consent at any time and change your mind. The person who is with you must respect your change of mind and stop.

It is important that you have a loud and strong voice. Remember it is your body and what you say goes!

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

Dismantling Rape Culture, a study by Katrina K. Pimentel

Dismantling Rape Culture, a study by Katrina K. Pimentel

In attaining her Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership, Katrina focussed her dissertation on Dismantling Rape Culture, and was awarded the “Graduate with Distinction Award” at CSU Sacramento. We are humbled to have received recognition of our work within a vital dissection of cultural issues and solutions and even more humbled to have received permission from Katrina to share her dissertation with our own connections via our website.

Read More

What is a Body Safety Education program?

What is a Body Safety Education program?

Many people are uninformed as to what constitutes a Body Safety Education program and fear that such a program would discuss sex and sexual abuse with their children. This is not the case. Body Safety Education aims to empower children with skills and knowledge that will lessen the likelihood of them becoming victims of childhood sexual abuse.

Read More

#NoMore #MeToo for the Next Generation

I say #NoMore #MeToo for the next generation. We can stop this! As active and engaged parents, caregivers, educators and health professionals we can help stop sexual assault, so our kids will grow into adulthood free from sexploitation, misogyny, gender inequality and sexual assault. How do we do this? We EDUCATE our kids — the next generation — from the day they are born.

LTA_FrontCov.jpg

Kids need to know:

1. that they have rights, a voice and body autonomy

2. that they have choices

3. what consent means in regards to giving it, asking for it and withdrawing consent at anytime

4. that ‘No Means No!’ It does not mean ‘maybe’ or ‘I’m not sure’

5. that all genders are equal

6. that gender stereotypes are out-dated and must be challenged

7. that respect for each other and our diversity is crucial for a cohesive world

8. that empathy, kindness and compassion need to be nurtured

9. that as humans we are more the same than we are different

10. that we need to stand up for others when they are unable to do so; we need to be that person that says, ‘Hey! That’s not right!’

Start educating kids from an early age. Provide age-appropriate and empowering books and resources that teach these values. Model what it means to be a true, caring, global citizen. We can do this. We need to do this. We must say #NoMore #MeToo for the next generation and ALL generations to follow.

Jayneen Sanders is a teacher, author, mother of three and writes children’s books on Body Safety, Gender Equality, Consent, Respect and Social and Emotional Intelligence

 

Making Our Kids Feel Guilty About Saying ‘No’ Is Never Okay

Here’s the thing… it is okay for our kids to say, ‘No’ to hugs and kisses. After all, a child’s body is their body and they are the boss of it.

So When Auntie Jeanie or Grandpa Bob comes in for that big smoochy kiss or that crushing bear hug, it is absolutely fine for your child to say, ‘No’.

In fact, both Auntie Jeanie and Grandpa Bob need to be educated in this space. They need to know that asking your child’s permission for a kiss or hug is a necessary requirement. It is not okay for the ‘said relatives’ to assume that they can just come on in to your child’s body space and take whatever affection they want. Consent is the key here! Adults, teenagers and other children need to ask for that hug or kiss, and if consent is not given, then ‘No’ does mean ‘No’, and this ‘No’ needs to be respected and adhered to.

Which brings me to another point, guilt. It is never okay to make a child feel guilty if they decide not to give their consent to various forms of affection. None of the old, ‘Poor Grandpa. He looks so sad.’ Or, ‘Just give Auntie Jeanie a little kiss. She has come all this way to see you.’ This kind of rhetoric is not okay. Not sharing your body does not warrant a guilt response. Girls, in particular, grow up feeling a sense of guilt about many things — guilty about being assertive (often termed ‘bossy’), guilty about being too loud, guilty about eating ice-cream, guilty about saying ‘No’ to that ‘nice boy’. Guilty about so many things! (BTW: please feel free to add incidences where you were made to feel guilty growing up, and even now as adult.)

When a child says, ‘No’ to a hug or a kiss from any person, let’s be clear about this, it is their right. They should never be made to feel guilty. This kind of ‘guilting’ has consequences as your child grows into a teenager and an adult. It can undermine their confidence and make them feel that when things go wrong it is their fault. As parents we want our children to feel empowered. We want them to be proud of who they are and that their decisions are respected. Saying ‘No’ is okay, and respecting that ‘No’ is crucial.

Jayneen Sanders is the author of the children’s book ‘No Means No’, and books for children on body safety, consent, gender equality, respectful relationships and emotional intelligence. For more information go to: www.e2epublishing.info All Jayneen's books are available on Amazon.

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

A Teenage Girl's Guide to Empowerment

1. Embrace your uniqueness and ignore anyone who tries to shame or bully you about your appearance. We all have a body and each body is different. Love yourself.

2. Do not slut-shame* other girls. Support each other. Women face many expectations from a male-dominated society. Lift each other up to fight gender inequality.

3. Pornography is not real. It is not what a loving respectful relationship looks like. What you may have seen are two or more actors. Even though the woman appears to enjoy sex that objectifies and degrades her, in real-life this most likely is not the case.

4. A loving relationship is where two people enjoy time together and BOTH enjoy sex that is mutually respectful.

5. You do not have to perform sexual acts that make you feel uncomfortable. You have the right to say, ‘No’ at ANYTIME. The other person needs to STOP immediately.

6. Yes means yes! When you do want to have sex and it is mutually respectful, enjoy!

7. Oral sex is sex.

8. Masturbation should be absolutely guilt free. It’s your body!

9. You do not have to post or send naked selfies of yourself to anyone. No-one has the right to pressure you into doing this. If they do, than seriously question their motivation.

10. Mutual, respectful sex is about you enjoying sex also, not just your partner.

11. Verbal, physical and psychological violence is NEVER okay.

12. Listed are some great organizations where you can gain more information.

     The Line: http://www.theline.org.au

     Kids Helpline: https://kidshelpline.com.au

     Our Watch: http://www.ourwatch.org.au

     Headspace: https://www.headspace.org.au

 

*slut-shaming : also known as slut-bashing, is the idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging sexual feelings, and/or acting on sexual feelings

by Jayneen Sanders

[copyright] Educate2Empower Publishing: www.e2epublishing.info

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

A DUMMIES’ Guide for Teenage Boys in How to Respect Girls

1. Treat girls as human because that is what they are. They breathe and they have feelings. Your words and actions can cause lasting damage. Think before you speak and act.

2. No slut-shaming*. Girls have the right to wear whatever they like without fear of being sexually assaulted. What they are wearing or the fact that they enjoy sex is not an invitation for you to make unwanted sexual advances or speak about or to a girl in slut-shaming terms.

3. When a girl says ‘NO’ to anything she means ‘NO!’ She does not mean ‘maybe’ or ‘I’m not sure’. Girls can say ‘NO’ at any time during sexual contact. This means you STOP immediately.

4. Girls are equal to you in brain power. In fact, many will exceed you. This may be news to you but they can also be physically stronger than you. They can also be better at sport.

5. Many girls love to have fun and party. This does not mean you can come onto them (make sexual advances) when they are drunk or high. In fact, this is a good time to look out for them as you would any human in a similar situation.

6. Girls are not here on this earth for your pleasure. They are not sexual objects. It may be news to you but they do not like cat-calling*, gossiping with others about their bodies or appearance, being stared at while going about their daily routines.

7. Pornography is not real. It is not what a loving respectful relationship looks like. What you may have seen are two or more actors. Even though the woman appears to enjoy sex that objectifies and degrades her, in real-life this most likely is not the case. A loving relationship is where two people enjoy time together and both enjoy sex that is mutually respectful.

8. Do not tell a girl you love/like her, get her to take a naked selfie and then post it on the internet so you look impressive to your friends. I repeat, DO NOT do this despicable and illegal act.

9. Do not take pictures of girls without their permission. Do not post such pictures on the internet. I repeat, DO NOT do this despicable and illegal act.

10. Lastly, be a kind, good human being to all other human beings this includes girls.

Educators/carers please unpack each point with teenagers. Ask, ‘What does this mean?’

*slut-shaming : also known as slut-bashing, is the idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging sexual feelings, and/or acting on sexual feelings

*cat-calling: a loud whistle or a comment of a sexual nature made by a man to a passing woman

written by Jayneen Sanders www.e2epublishing.info

Copyright Educate2Empower Publishing   

 

3 Comments

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

Why I Wrote the Children’s Book ‘No Means No!’

Want to know more about this book? Visit the " No Means No! " page for more information on the content and testimonials from readers...

Want to know more about this book? Visit the "No Means No!" page for more information on the content and testimonials from readers...

About two years ago when I was a substitute teacher in a grade 1 class, I encountered a little girl of around 7 years old. For this blog, let’s call her Karli. Karli was a very shy child (unlike my own three outspoken daughters and myself as a child:)) but I respected this aspect of what I believed to be her innate nature. Karli was also one of those little girls that the boys seem to gravitate towards. Always buzzing around her and wanting to hug, kiss and hold her hand. Karli would respond with coy smiles and allow them to show the affection they wished to bestow upon her.

On my second day in the class, the boys’ and Karli’s behavior began to increasingly worry me. I asked Karli if she really wanted the boys to hug and kiss her. He response was, ‘No, I don’t’. At this point I said to her, ‘Well, Karli, you have the right to say NO to the boys.’ I showed her how she could stand firm and tall, put her hand out in front of her and say, ‘NO! I don’t like that!’. It really didn’t come as a surprise to me, that she actually couldn't do it. She became giggly and coy every time she tried to model my stance and actions.

To be frank, Karli was a very pretty girl and I expect adults and children alike thought so too. She most likely had learnt from a very young age that she was an object to be admired and being innately shy, she consequently put up with the hugs and kisses the boys (and I suspect adults) had always bestowed upon her.

By the third day, I had her standing in her super girl/pirate stance, with one hand on her hip and one hand outstretched saying, ‘NO! Means No!’ I have to admit it was hard for her, and it took some time for Karli to be able do this in front of me; but eventually and with practice she became comfortable to use her voice and firm body language.

After teaching Karli and her classmates, I decided there was a definite need to write a children’s book to empower young kids and give them a voice. It is crucial that children from a very young age know their body is their body, and that they have a right to say, ‘NO’ to unwanted touch. Our children’s bodies belong to them. If they don’t wish to hug or kiss an adult or another child, they have the right to say, ‘NO’. A polite high five or shake of the hand is perfectly fine. Adults and children alike, need to respect this ‘NO’; they also need to ask permission of a child if wanting to hug or kiss them. Of course in many child-adult relationships there may be an ongoing mutual understanding that hugs and kisses are okay, and that permission is not sought every time. But if the child doesn’t want a hug or a kiss on a particular occasion, than their ‘NO’ is also okay and to be respected.

Teaching a young child from the earliest of years consent and body autonomy is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. It provides a child with the confidence and assertiveness to say, ‘NO’ to unwanted touch (which includes bullying) and especially unsafe touch (see www.e2epublishing.info for children’s books on Body Safety). Child sexual predators will and do use use tickling and touching games to groom young children. If your child has the confidence to say, ‘NO’ to any form of unwanted touch, then you have given them a great gift, and they will have an awesome chance to grow into confident and assertive teenagers and adults.

 

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education and respectful relationships to be taught both in the home and in schools.

Want to know more about this book? Visit the "No Means No!" page for more information on the content and testimonials from readers...

 

Was this article helpful to you? Take a look at the most recent articles in our Blog.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’, ‘My Body! What I say Goes!’, ‘No Difference Between Us’, and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.