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Child sexual abuse happens. It's time we deal with child sexual abuse rather than hide it under the carpet.
Child sexual abuse happens. It’s time we deal with it rather than hide it under the carpet.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau of India, the number of cases registered for child sexual abuse rose from 8,904 in the year 2014 to 14,913 in the year 2015, under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
Often times, children are vulnerable for the lack of information and strategies to handle such situations. With that in mind, I’d like to share a little note for your kids, and, for you as parents to read up to have open conversations with your kids.
Did you know that you are the boss of your body? Let’s break this down a little bit. The word boss means to be in charge. And so, when I say that you are the boss of your body, it simply means that you are the one in charge of your body! When you are in charge, you get to decide who comes close to you and who doesn’t.
One of the important things you should keep in mind when it comes to your body is the concept of touch. Very simply, touching means when two things come in close contact with one another. When it comes to our bodies, there are three kinds of touches: safe touches, unsafe touches and confusing touches.
A safe touch is one that makes us feel safe: like when your mama touches your forehead to check if you have a fever, or your papa pats your back for getting a good grade in math, or your teacher shakes your hand to congratulate you.
An unsafe touch is one that makes us feel unsafe: like when someone pushes you or pinches you, or when someone trips you or scratches you. An unsafe touch is also when someone touches your body in any of these three places: your chest, your bottom or the place between your legs. These three parts of your body are your private parts, and nobody is allowed to touch them – except, when either of your parents are giving you a bath, or, when a doctor is checking your body when you are unwell in the presence of your parents only.
A confusing touch is one that doesn’t quite feel safe, but you don’t know for sure if it is unsafe. For instance, if a person touches any part of your body and you don’t know if you feel safe although the touch doesn’t directly hurt you, it is confusing.
Whenever you find yourself facing an unsafe touch or a confusing touch, you need to follow a very simple rule called “No-Run-Tell.” This means, that you should say NO to the person who is touching you in an unsafe or confusing way, and then RUN to a safe adult, and then TELL the safe adult what happened.
Who is a safe adult? A safe adult is any grown up who makes you feel safe. It could be anyone: your mama, your papa, your grandparents, your teacher – it should be anyone who makes you feel safe.
One other important thing you should remember is: just like how it is wrong for anyone to touch your body in an unsafe or confusing way, it is wrong for them to ask you to touch their body, it is wrong of them to ask you to show your private parts to them, and it is wrong of them to show you their private parts. When any of these things happen, remember, No-Run-Tell.
With an emphasis on the concepts of safe and unsafe touches, body integrity and designating safe adults, we at The Red Elephant Foundation have collaborated with Indian home décor brand, Pinklay, in order to spread awareness on safety measures for children in the wake of child sexual abuse.
The collaboration seeks to reach more children around the country to ensure their safety. Each plush toy sold under this collaboration will include four handouts on safe and unsafe touches, safe adults and body integrity for children.
In order to do so, Pinklay has created and curated a line of ‘red elephant’ plush toys, which will be sold on their website along with informational handouts relating to child safety and strategies for children to stay safe. Appu and his friends have an important message for children everywhere in the world.
Top image via Pexels
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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