Talking openly with kids about sexual assault is an important part of creating safe environments that support kids’ growth and development. Here’s how to teach kids about sexual violence.
Every child has a right to a childhood free from abuse, and ensuring their safety requires talking to them about sexual abuse. Talking to your child about this issue gives them a language to use and helps them understand what sexual assault is. Additionally, having honest and open conversations with your child shows them that they can talk to you at any time and that you will always listen.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Samarthya Bhatnagar, Co-Founder of Bodsphere, suggested, “You can start by bringing up sexual assault in discussions about relationships, respect and personal growth. For instance, you may bring up positive aspects of trusting relationships, such as experiencing love and having fun but you may also add that it’s not acceptable when relationships cause people to feel unsafe, unwelcome or bullied. Creating secure environments that support children’s growth and development includes having open conversations with them regarding sexual assault.”
He added, “This Yogic Principle is something that should be taught to the children. At the same time, following the Yogic Philosophy of Satya or truth is something that the children should be aware of. Speaking the truth without any fear is the right of every child. When anything is wrong or they don’t feel comfortable, children’s bodies offer them warning signs. A child should be able to recognise the signals in a sexually risky scenario too if he can recognise the signs in any unsafe circumstance. Yoga can also help the children become more aware of their thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. It provides an opportunity for them to reconnect with their mental and physical experience, and to build confidence in being able to guide their thoughts and actions through intentional movement and focus.”
Prof Usha Patel, Director – Academics at IIAD highlighted how sexual violence is a problem that affects millions of children around the world yet it is something that is often left unspoken. She said, “Empathy lies at the core of all design solutions and by taking this forward we can develop more effective, engaging and informative materials on sexual violence prevention.” She recommended ways in which we can contribute towards spreading awareness:
- Creating interactive games or simulations that help students understand the dynamics of consent and healthy relationships.
- Developing videos and educational content that is easily accessible and shareable.
- Developing infographics and visuals that simplify complex information to spread awareness.
- Designing educational materials that are culturally relevant and inclusive.
- Ultimately, we believe that education is key to prevention. By raising awareness about this issue, we can empower people to take action and create a safer world for all children.