The #MeToo movement has come a long way since Alyssa Milano opened the Pandora’s box back in 2017. The shared stories of sexual harassment has had a profound impact on humanity, shed light on the gross negligence on part of society and the rampant misogyny that pervades
our moral fibre.
Heroes fell and more were exposed as rape apologists and enablers. But it is in no way the end to this narrative. Crimes against women are increasing. But one area that often gets unnoticed is misdemeanour against children.
Paedophilia is no new danger but incidents of sexual crimes and assault against women.
As the movement is becoming progressively transformational, it becomes essential to provide the correct curriculum to children – at school or at home. The risks are multifaceted. Non exploitative sexual acts, online harassment, forced intercourse – many a perils that kids need be educated about.
Teach them the correct names of body parts. Identification of genitals and other parts is integral to them conveying health issues, injuries or abuses.
For Toddlers For Pre-Schoolers
Start the conversation on birds and bees so they have rudimentary understanding of
reproduction rather than the act of sex. Here in comes your expertise at handling
information dissemination – of good touch and bad touch, consent and personal space.
School Going Children
The range of gender expressions need be taught lest they get stuck in notions of gender
binary and resist to self express. Social conventions that exist regarding privacy and nudity can be taught as also the safety protocols of using devices like mobiles and computers.
Reinforcing the previous knowledge, rules, and conventions in addition to teaching about sex
and contraception is what comes next.
Information about menstruation, wet dreams and boundaries in healthy relationships will help teenagers set limitations and avoid the clutches of abuse – emotional and physical. Dating violence will be on a rise in these years and safety mechanisms instilled in the teenagers girls and boys alike can make the difference between an escape and mishap.
Even though you are keeping an open mind while having this conversation, it is important
to make it child appropriate both the language and the approach. Get professional advice before executing it. Thinking time prior to the conversation helps you invest into the real
time conversation, its repercussions and cross questions.
Steer clear of any language or logic that can lead the kids especially girls to find fault
with the victim. This will lead to a sense of shame lest any such unfortunate event is to
occur. Eep the gender bias aside and provide neutral knowledge.
Introduce them with all concepts
From bad touch and good touch to verbal misconduct nothing should be brushed under
the carpet as this is integral information for the kids to protect themselves and their loved
ones in future. Understanding sexual misconduct is integral to preventing it and taking a step if it were to happen
Have a conversation
More often than not, we only see boys as the perpetrators while pre-teens and teenage boys in India experience the most sexual assault mostly at the hands of a family member.
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