Every Question You Asked About ... Body Safety And Consent

Every Question You Asked About ... Body Safety And Consent

When should I start teaching body safety and consent?

Take a look at our ‘When to Begin Consent and Body Safety Conversations’ poster. It has all the information you need and it’s free to download!

Will my child learn about sexual abuse if they are taught body safety?

No! They will learn 5 key age-appropriate body safety skills that are empowering. The act of sexual abuse is never mentioned. Why would it be? We are teaching children.

Will my child lose their innocence if I teach body safety and consent?

No! In fact, they are less likely to be sexually abused if they have the skills to tell someone and keep on telling until they are believed.

Are my children more at risk from strangers?

Absolutely not! “About 90% of children who are victims of sexual abuse know their abuser. About 60% of children who are sexually abused are abused by people the family trusts.” (Finkelhor, D. (2012) Predators are in our homes and our community.

Won’t some people be upset if I insist that they ask my child for consent before hugging or kissing them?

Probably yes. But it is not about the adult. It is about the child having rights to their body and having the choice to decide how they wish to greet people.

When should I let my child go for a sleepover?

Each family is different but for my children, it was 11+ years of age and they had had many years of body safety education which was constantly being reinforced. A good idea is to have a family ‘warning word’ such as ‘ditto’ so if your child phones or texts and says the word, you know they feel unsafe and need to be collected straight away.

What if my child can’t say ‘no’ to a predator?

If your child does freeze, the default is to tell a trusted grown-up on their Safety Network (3 to 5 trusted adults a child can go to if they feel unsafe) as soon as they can get away. And to keep on telling until they are believed even if they have been threatened. However, it is still important for your child to practice standing in a superhero position, hand stretched out and to say ‘Stop! This is my body!’

How do I let everyone know I am teaching my child body safety and consent?

Say it loudly and proudly to family and friends, and place our FREE My Body Safety Rules poster or our FREE We Are A Child Safe Home poster in a prominent position so everyone entering your home knows your child is educated to tell!

How do I know who to trust my kids with?

You don’t! So make sure you are up-to-date with grooming techniques; read this important blog post and you have your parent/carer/teacher radar on ‘alert’ at all times.

What if a child discloses to me?

Stay calm as your response is crucial to the child’s healing journey. Let them know they are incredibly brave for telling you, they are NOT to blame, make no promises, and get help as soon as possible by contacting an appropriate organisation. Click here for a list of organisations that may be helpful.

See a list of books and resources to help with Body Safety and Consent education on our website here.

Post written by author, educator and advocate Jayneen Sanders.

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