A Hard Talk With Our Kids
The Indiana Chapter would like to thank Matthew Tully and The Indy Star for this insightful article, which was originally published on November 21, 2015.
The issue of chid sexual abuse has been front and center during the Jared Fogle saga. But it’s an issue that is much bigger than one case and it cannot fade from the spotlight.
For every case that is reported to authorities, there are more that need to be uncovered. Toby Stark reached out to make clear the urgency of this situation but also, and this is critical, to make clear we all can take steps that better protect our children.
“Statistically speaking, we all have Jared [Fogle]s in our world. It’s hard to accept that, but we have to take the intellectual step to do so, because that empowers us to take steps to do something about it.”
First step? Talk. That’s it, Stark said. Just start having the conversation with your child. You can start small, simply by using real names to describe body parts, which reduces the shame or embarrassment related to the issue, but Stark said this needs to be an ongoing conversation.
“We don’t just tell our kids to brush their teeth once or to wear a helmet once, and then check it off the list,” she said. “We keep talking about it.”
“Remind kids that, ‘Your body belongs to you, and nobody can touch you in any way you don’t like,” she said. “That means someone pulling your hair or hitting you, and it means touching you in a way you don’t like.”