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The Underwear Rule (Watch video here) is a simple guide to help parents explain to children where others should not try to touch them, how to react and where to seek help. What is The Underwear Rule? It’s simple: a child should not be touched by others on parts of the body usually covered by their underwear. And they should not touch others in those areas. It also helps explain to children that their body belongs to them, that there are good and bad secrets and good and bad touches.
About one in five children falls victim to some form of sexual abuse and violence. It happens to children of every gender, every age, every skin colour, every social class and every religion. The perpetrator is often someone the child knows and trusts. The perpetrator can also be a child.
You can help prevent this happening to your child: Good communication with children is the key. It implies openness, determination, straightforwardness and a friendly, non-intimidating atmosphere. The Underwear Rule can help you with this. A child is never too young to be taught The Underwear Rule because abuse can happen at every age. If you find it uncomfortable to talk about this subject with your child, please remember that it is probably more difficult for you as an adult than it is for a child.
Children should know that there are professionals that can be particularly helpful (teachers, social workers, ombudspersons, physicians, the school psychologist, the police) and that there are help lines that children can call to seek advice.
For more information, please check the document here.