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This is what I was never told when I was younger to be SAFE

Perhaps you are one of many people who are shocked or probably scared after the amount of revealed stories on social media recently regarding sexual harassment at a young age and child abuse.

We were all disgusted by that heartless criminal who raped a two-year kid for death. I honestly can’t take this into any logic but it happened and those people exist.

Till when are we treating this topic as a taboo? Till we lose hundreds of lives and millions of souls?

That innocent creature was killed and millions of girls killed their femininity lest it was the reason. It doesn’t feel right then and either they blame themselves because adults are always right and we are culturally taught to listen to the elders blindly so they either blame themselves or never speak about it.

Why an adult sexually harasses a kid?

You might understand why an adult can sexually harass an adult (of course without ever giving him excuses). Yet, you can keep asking yourself why would an adult do this to a kid? It is just a kid.

First Reason: Lack of Awareness

This sick-minded adult is pretty sure that the kid will not speak. He will use his power to convince the kid that they are playing and no one told this poor kid before that he is precious and he can subtly say NO!

Second Reason: Society Beliefs

Community pressure pushes the idea of shame with anything related to sexual harassment as it’s something that could bring disgrace. Few kids who might speak up with their parents might be faced with a question “Did anyone see you?” And this will surely imply that the kid is guilty too.

WE ALL NEED TO STOP THIS NOW!

Kids are in need of accurate, age-appropriate information about child sexual abuse and confidence that adults they know will support them. Clear communication is the clue for effective prevention and healthier humans can be raised. Cooperation makes kids safe but acting blind won’t.

“You can say No if you don’t want to kiss your uncle”

Forcing kids to salute their relatives by kissing even if they don’t feel like it and considering this inappropriate if they didn’t is totally wrong. Everyone should ask a kid politely for a hug or a kiss and never get offended if they didn’t want to.

“No one can force you to touch your body parts”

Straight talk about body parts. Name them and talk about them very early. Use proper names for body parts, or at least teach your child what the actual words for their body parts are and not the nicknames as most of the parents do. Tell your child that their private parts are called private because they are not for everyone to see. Explain that Mom and Dad can see them naked, but other people no matter how close they are can not see them without their clothes on.

“The adults are not always right”

We are raised in a community that preaches respecting and following the elders especially relatives as if they never do wrong.  Tell your children to come and talk to you if they don’t feel right about something a grown up says or does.

“Speak up cause it is not your fault”

The feeling of guilt comes out of the confusion the victimized kid feels. The sexual touch can be very confusing. In a strictly physical sense, sexual touch can feel good and for a victim of sexual abuse, this can create more shame and confusion about the situation. “If my body responded this way, this must mean that I liked it and wanted it to happen.” Talk about “secret” touch or touch that makes a child uncomfortable. Set the rules clear, no secret games with adults no matter how close they are especially if it involves touching your body.

“You are allowed to say leave me alone”

Some children are uncomfortable with telling people “no”. Tell them that it’s okay to tell an adult they have to leave, if something that feels wrong is happening, and help give them words to get out of uncomfortable situations.

“If you don’t feel right about it, tell me and I will never get mad”

Let your children know that if they say someone has touched them, or anything that sounds so wrong for them you will believe them and not be mad at them. Tell them that you love them and will help keep them safe.

“What if this happened?”

Practice What If situations with your kids without scaring them. Most people who sexually abuse children use tricks or bribes to keep kids from telling. The abusive person might promise a gift or allow a forbidden privilege. Explain these tricks to your children and reassure them that you are always there to handle the situation.

SAFE : Against Sexual Abuse in Egypt

Some efforts have been made towards the awareness of child abuse. Watch this inspirational talk by Sara Aziz to know more about SAFE to combat child sexual abuse.

This is what I was never told when I was younger to be SAFE

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