by Sara O'Meara and Yvonne Fedderson
As part of the Childhelp(R) child abuse prevention program, elementary school children learn about the uh-oh feeling. This is the instinctive, pit-of-the-stomach feeling that something wrong is happening to them.
On the third and final day of the training, a second grade boy rushed up to the Childhelp staff member who was teaching the material. "I had a big 'uh-oh' feeling on the bus today!" he said. The boy explained that two bullies pushed him down. He stretched his shirt to show the dirt marks that resulted.
When asked if he told anyone when he got to school, he replied that he hadn't. "I wanted to wait for you because you know all about good touches and bad touches and I knew that you would know what to do," he said. The Childhelp staff member praised him for telling someone who would believe him.
She reported the incident to the boy's teacher. The teacher said that the boy--a sweet, small child--was often the target of bullies, but he had never been able to stand up for himself before.
This incident illustrates how children are empowered by learning that their bodies are their own and that no one has the right to force or trick them into ANY touch that causes them discomfort. The Childhelp abuse prevention programs provide children with the knowledge and skills they need to help protect themselves from harm. Learn more (link to Good-Touch/Bad-Touch(TM)).