Good Touch / Bad Touch is a body-safety program that teaches our children a comfortable way to talk about a very sensitive problem. Children are taught what abuse is, personal body-safety rules, who can help them and what to do if they are threatened or harmed. Good Touch / Bad Touch teaches children vital safety skills on a developmental level compatible with their age group. The lessons are positive and taught according to values such as respect for oneself and others, compassion, humour, honesty, caring and responsibility.
Informing children of the following concepts helps to reduce their vulnerability to abuse:
- Touch can be good, bad or confusing.
- Children are precious and have the right to know all the safety rules.
- Children can say “NO!” to touches they don’t like.
- Children can tell a trusted adult if they ever have a problem with sexual abuse, bullying or other confusing touches.
- Abuse is NEVER the child’s fault.
These are touches that keep children safe and are good for them, and that make children feel cared for and important. Safe touches can include hugging, pats on the back, and an arm around the shoulder. Safe touches can also include touches that might hurt, such as removing a splinter. Explain to children that when you remove a splinter, you are doing so to keep them healthy, which makes it a safe touch.
Unsafe touches- These are the touches that hurt children’s bodies or feelings (for example, hitting, pushing, pinching, and kicking). Teach children that these kinds of touches are not okay.
Make Them Understand the difference between Good and Bad Touch
- Good Touch – It feels, pleasant and good, it is a way to show care, love and help. Explain with the help of examples like when mommy hugs you or papa gives you a goodnight kiss or your grandparents hold you in their arms and you hold your friend’s hands while playing.
- Bad Touch – Touches that make you uncomfortable and you feel unpleasant and you want to stop it there and then. Again, use some examples to explain them like, it is a bad touch if you feel hurt, if you do not want to be touched, if someone touches your private parts without a reason, if someone touches you and tells you not to tell anyone, all these are examples of a bad touch.
- Say no! Tell the person that you don’t like it and you don’t want to be touched.
- Get away fast! Run away from the person whose touch you don’t like. Never stay alone with that person ever again.
- Call for help. You can scream.
- Believe in yourself. You did nothing wrong.
- If someone touches you in the wrong way, tell someone you trust what has happened. Don’t let threats scare you into running away or keeping quiet. When a person touches you and asks you to keep it a secret between the two of you, ask yourself, “Does the secret bother me?”
- Don’t keep secrets that make you feel uncomfortable. Go to a person you trust-a parent, a relative, a teacher, or your doctor. If the person you go to doesn’t believe you, go to someone else you trust until someone believes you and helps you.
- Do everything you can to stay away from the person who is touching you in the wrong way or making you feel uncomfortable. Don’t stay alone with a person who touches you in a way that makes you uncomfortable or makes you feel unsafe.
- Choose a place where you can lie down on your back and stretch out comfortably, such as a carpeted floor.
- Inhale and tense each muscle group (like squeezing a lemon) for 4 to 10 seconds, then exhale and suddenly and completely relax the muscle group (do not relax it gradually). Give yourself 10 to 20 seconds to relax.
- When you are finished, return to alertness by counting backwards from 5 to 1.
- Hands: Clench them.
- Wrists and forearms: Extend them and bend your hands back at the wrist.
- Biceps and upper arms: Clench your hands into fists, bend your arms at the elbows, and flex your biceps.
- Shoulders: Shrug them.
- Forehead: Wrinkle it into a deep frown.
- Around the eyes and bridge of the nose: Close your eyes as tightly as possible. (Remove contact lenses before beginning the exercise.)
- Around the mouth: Press your lips together tightly. (Check your facial area for tension.)
- Back of the neck: Press your head back hard.
- Front of the neck: Touch your chin to your chest. (Check your neck and head for tension.)
- Chest: Take a deep breath and hold it, then exhale.
- Back: Arch your back up and away from the floor.
- Stomach: Suck it into a tight knot. (Check your chest and stomach for tension.)
- Hips and buttocks: Press the buttocks together tightly.
- Thighs: Clench them hard.
- Lower legs: Point your toes toward your face, as if trying to bring the toes up to touch your head. Then point your toes away and curl them downward at the same time. (Check the area from your waist down for tension.)