New children's book aims to help prevent child sex abuse

Author Goh Eck Kheng and illustrator Lim An-ling with the Singapore Children's Society's child sexual abuse prevention storybook titled Jun And The Octopus. Launched yesterday, it is targeted at parents and educators, and encourages them to discuss t
Author Goh Eck Kheng and illustrator Lim An-ling with the Singapore Children's Society's child sexual abuse prevention storybook titled Jun And The Octopus. Launched yesterday, it is targeted at parents and educators, and encourages them to discuss the topic with children from an early age.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The Singapore Children's Society has published a book to help adults broach the subject of child sexual abuse with the young.

Jun And The Octopus follows the story of Jun, a boy who confronts his fears and finds the courage to tell his parents about a sexual abuse incident. Launched yesterday, it is targeted at parents and educators, and encourages them to discuss the topic with children from an early age.

Mr Alfred Tan, chief executive officer of Singapore Children's Society, said: "We hope that this book can engage the community (and) the parents to talk to their children directly, without having to go through the media or a third party.

"It can be a conversation tease to the children at a very young age. It's never too early to talk to them."

The book also aims to help children identify when they are being sexually abused and to be comfortable in speaking out about it.

"If children get exposed to such literature, then hopefully they won't think it's something that shouldn't be talked about...and we hope that it will encourage children to ask more questions," said Ms Lin Xiaoling, deputy director of the advocacy and research department at Singapore Children's Society.

The idea for a picture book came about because of its suitability in imparting lessons to children of a younger age. "Stories are very powerful in sharing sometimes very complicated and complex messages with young children. So it's a great way for very big topics to be delivered to children," added Ms Lin.

 

Jun And The Octopus was written by Mr Goh Eck Kheng and illustrated by Ms Lim An-ling. The book is on sale for $18 at selected bookstores.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2019, with the headline 'New children's book aims to help prevent child sex abuse'. Print Edition | Subscribe