We are all responsible for the protection of children. Each of us needs to consider this commitment by redefining touch based on the recipient’s likes and dislikes, family loyalty and the distribution of power. Redefining these issues is a major undertaking. People who abuse children are not monsters with tails and horns, they are people who are often physical or sexual abuse survivors and are recreating what they experienced. However, they cannot be allowed to continue to abuse children.
To remain in denial about the reality that child abuse prevention is everyone’s responsibility is to accept a complicit role as a co-perpetrator. You can protect children by empowering yourself and taking full responsibility for your actions and speaking out when you see others abuse children, supporting children’s self-esteem, supporting their likes and dislikes regarding touch and fostering techniques of self-protection in your family, your home and your community.
Knowledge is power. Empower yourself and children with the techniques to protect every child–no matter the age.
“We became what we really are only by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us.” –Sartre.
Adopting the following Bill of Rights for Children is a highly effective principle in protecting children from abuse.
o The right to a name and nationality.
o The right to adequate nutrition and medical care.
o The right to adequate safety and protection.
o The right to affection, love and understanding.
o The right to express feelings without reprisal.
o The right to express ideas and opinions within the context of the freedom of speech act.
o The right to be respected.
o The right to set boundaries with regard to physical touch.
o The right to learn to be a useful member of society and to develop individual abilities.
o The right to live in a spirit of universal peace with sister/brotherhood.
o The right to full opportunity for play and recreation.
o The right to be among the first to receive relief in times of disaster.
o The right to enjoy these rights, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, nationality or social origin.