Forum: Don't confuse kids with notion that all physical contact is bad and sexual abuse

I agree with the view that children should be empowered to protect themselves from sexual abuse (Do more to empower kids to protect themselves against sexual abuse, Aug 26).

Children should be taught, at an appropriate age, what kind of physical contact is acceptable and what is not.

I hope, however, that they will not be confused by the idea that all physical contact is potentially sexual and exploitative in nature.

A kiss on an auntie's cheek and sitting on an uncle's lap are expressions of affection, which should not be denied to children.

However, if the child does not like such demonstrations of affection, then adults should not compel them to perform them.

Of utmost importance is that children have adults they trust, whom they can turn to if they have any concerns.

They can be taught that physical contact which cannot be conducted in public is probably inappropriate, and to know that anybody who tells them not to divulge physical contact between them is probably acting inappropriately.

Realistically, not all parents know how to discuss these matters with their children. A properly structured programme may be useful for children of an appropriate age.

Caroline Chee

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