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Mar 4, 1999

NOPCA teaches kids to protect themselves

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With sexual assault against children and incest so much in the news these days, the National Organization for the Prevention of Child Abuse has embarked on a program to help kids protect themselves, even from the very adults who are supposed to protect them. Because discussing abuse is so difficult for many parents, NOPCA has begun visiting the schools to take the information directly to the children. Today News Five sat in on a session directed at the standard one students of St. Joseph’s School. As we found out it wasn’t simply a matter of telling the kids not to let adults abuse them, it was letting them know they deserve respect no matter what their age.

As Children’s Week continues the National Organization for the Prevention of Child Abuse is visiting pre-schools as well as primary schools trying to make our youngsters become more conscious of their bodies and for them to know the difference between “good touch and bad touch”.

Margaret Taegar, Coordinator, NOPCA

“We were talking about the good touch and bad touch and we wanted to see if the children understood what good touches and bad touches were. Most of them that participated really did know because we showed them photographs of smiling faces, sad faces and confused faces. And when we asked them what kind of touch would bring a smiling face, they said a happy face brings a good touch and the sad face brings a bad touch and the confused face brings a feeling that they are uncomfortable with.”

Decoy Flores, Instructor, NOPCA

“Besides the pictures and the dolls and pictures we illustrated to them their private parts and how to use them and how to use the knowledge of the private parts to know that this is my private body, my personal body and no one should violate my rights or my body.”

After the session the children knew clearly the difference between a bad touch and a good touch.

Priscilla Nisbet, Student, St. Joseph Primary

“A good touch is when they touch you somewhere where you are comfortable.”

Q: “And a bad touch?”

Priscilla Nisbet

“When you feel very bad and you are not comfortable with it.”

Rasine Gillett, Student, St. Joseph Primary

“You have special parts and you want to protect them.”

Giovanni Requeña, Student, St. Joseph Primary

“When they touch me in my belly I don’t like it when they touch me in my belly.”

NOPCA says that they are not only doing the course because of Children’s Week but they are more concerned about the safety of our children due to the rise in recent sexual offence cases involving children. They are trying their very best to instill in the kids’ minds that they are very special.

Margaret Taegar

“This is definitely one of the reasons and we are trying to make mothers in particular more aware of what is going on and to be very, very careful with who they make their children go out from their homes and what time they should be back.”

Decoy Flores

“They are worth it because they are kids. And people like to take advantage because they are kids. I am telling them that they are worth it and they should know their rights and they should be listened to.”

Hyacinth Latchman for News Five.

On Friday primary school students from all over Belize City will demonstrate against all forms of child abuse by joining in a walk organized by the National Committee for Families and Children. The event is the culmination of Children’s Week activities and precedes a rally at the City Center. The walk begins simultaneously on the north and southsides of Belize City at 8:30 a.m.

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