Talking to kids about sexual abuse can be difficult. Maybe you’ve shared the basics, but how do you know if you’ve done enough? And what about all their questions?
I’ve found a great resource that has helped me on this journey. No Touching Secrets! Let’s talk about okay and not okay touching by Melissa Pirwani is a new eBook.
Now, I don’t usually use eBooks with kids (I prefer traditional books) but I understand the appeal of an eBook for this topic— At $4.99, it’s inexpensive for families. You can access it immediately (no more putting off the conversation) and it’s always available. You can read it on an e-reader or right on the computer.
In the story, a mother and daughter talk about okay touches and not okay touches, including private part touching done in secret. Throughout the book, the child asks questions about touch and sexual abuse, and the mother has loving and knowledgeable responses. Not only do I get the chance to provide important safety information on sexual abuse to my child while reading the book, but I feel empowered to reiterate accurate information later on. Parenting win!
No Touching Secrets! recommends that children and adults partner to talk about all the touch that a child receives. Now that makes sense to me. This shouldn’t be a one-time conversation. Since 90% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone the child knows, it’s important to have proactive conversations about who is touching our child. Also, we can be alert if that
touch is changing into something we should be concerned about.
The book addresses needed information head on. A difficult message is not made more confusing by using animals or fantasy imagery to teach the message about sexual abuse (which will only require more clarification from me later on). Rather, it’s a story about a relatable family — like mine. The child asks child-like questions, like a child would. And it introduces the tougher topics that need to be talked about: how sexual abuse feels, who could do it, why it happens, and what the child should do if it happens.
Respect and care are the cornerstones of this story. Instead of feeling helpless, I now believe my child and I can work on building safety together. If my child was sexually abused, I would be heartbroken and angry. However, this book gave me confidence that I will be the kind of parent who will listen to my child with care, celebrate the courage it takes to disclose abuse and take action.
No Touching Secrets! is a very helpful book for children and adults. Do your family a favor and make time for this book and conversation!