We hear about horrorific rape stories in the news all the time, with gruesome stomach turning tales where young women were raped and killed all across the world. This has proven to be a wake-up call for many parents and those responsible for children. We know that rape is a problem within society, but never before have we been so encouraged to create change and normalise positive healthy sexual consent among children, parents and within our society to help create a future with less rape and sexual assaults.
Education starts at home from as early as 1 year in age. Parents should educate children about consent and empower them along life's long journey into the college and university years. Educating children from a young age raises empowered young adults who have empathy for others and a clear understanding of what healthy consent is and how it can be applied in relationships. In the early years children should be encouraged to seek permission before touching others and giving friends personal space. Parents should never force children to receive affection from others even if it is from family. This teaches children from a young age to respect others and their bodies and it empowers them emotionally within theirs.
As They Grow
It is very important parents teach children that if they are not happy with a situation they should be able to voice their opinion and say no. Likewise when others say no to them they too, will be able to identify the negative feelings that made them say no (once upon a time) and respect when the other person tells them to stop doing something.
When children get older, parents need to be more specific about sexuality and consent. It's not easy to talk with children about sex but we live in a culture soaked in sexuality.
Sex is used to sell virtually everything from music, to cars to furniture and even the food we eat. As parents, we have a duty of care to educate children about sexual changes, urges, losing their virginity and how to practice safe sex, and this includes boys. The world is filled with an increasing worsening epidemic of sexual violence, sexual assault, and sexual idolisation. We have to try and make a change for the future generations. Parents have to keep discussing with children ways to identify and respect a person's non-verbal communication at every opportunity during the teen and adolescence stage, with continual reemphasise and reinforcement of what has been taught about respecting a person's "no." If you don't social media will.
We believe parents should start educating children about consent and empowerment as early as 1 year old and continuing into the college years. It is our sincere hope that this education can help us raise empowered young adults who have empathy for others and a clear understanding of healthy consent.
We hope parents and educators find this list of action items and teaching tools helpful, and that together we can help create a generation of children who have less rape and sexual assault in their lives.