Only On 6: Good Touch, Hurtful Touch - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Only On 6: Good Touch, Hurtful Touch

Only On 6: Good Touch, Hurtful Touch

    We teach our kids about stranger danger and the difference between right and wrong, but there's one subject that's uncomfortable for parents and is all too often ignored.

     Touching. Good, bad, and a third type called private. 

1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. 

     Startling statistics that have Patsy's House, A Children's Advocacy Center, in 1st and 3rd grade classrooms in the Wichita Falls ISD. They are there to present a program called Tell, Tell, Tell. 

     "Knowledge is power, and the more these kids know and feel they like they can trust people and tell someone what's going on, I feel that's very important." said 3rd grade teacher, Kelli Cotton. 

     Early educators start teaching things like head, shoulders, knees and toes around 2 years old.

     That's also when they say parents should start talking to little ones about names of other parts, even the ones many parents tend to skip over. 

     "'Down there' is too vague. " said Patsy's house Social Services Coordinator Rachel Jones.

     "Don't make it something that's shameful or embarrassing these are just parts of your body," said Patsy's House Forensic Interviewer Shannon May.

       Parents should also talk about the types of touch. Good touching, like a hug or high five. Hurtful touching like a bite or a kick, and also private touching which is anything your bathing suit or underwear covers.     

     "They really need to understand about the empowerment of protecting their bodies and they have the right to say no to someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable," said WFISD P.E. & Health Specialist Julie Henderson

     Henderson oversees the program and feels it's needed especially in this mobile age, when parents aren't connected with kids every second of the day. 

     When kids hit 3rd grade the approach is a little different, because this group of kids are known as the rule players.

"You sit down and play a board game with them and cheat, they are on to you," said Patsy's House Forensic Interviewer Shannon May.

     So start by telling these older kids that there are two rules. One is no one is allowed to look at or touch you on these parts.

     "I don't want to ever make the child feel like anything is their fault, I'll say has someone ever broken that rule with you?" said May " The other rule is no one is allowed to make you, look at or touch them, on their private parts. Then I ask has someone ever broken that rule? Kids are like a broken rule and that clicks with them."

       Another important note is not forcing kids to be affectionate with family members.  

     "If they don't feel like hugging Uncle Joe then we don't push them. We want them to be comfortable with the decisions they make because they are the best judge of who they want in their personal space," said Patsy's house Social Services Coordinator Rachel Jones.

     Sad truth is only one in 10 victims tell when something happens, so this education is on behalf of the other 9.

     "You would rather have that talk today, to make sure they are safe tomorrow, rather than putting off the talk until tomorrow," said WFISD P.E. & Health Specialist Julie Henderson.
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