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Mar 9, 1999

Preschoolers learn to prevent abuse

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Last week we brought you the story of some schoolchildren learning how to protect themselves from people who might want to abuse them sexually. But how soon should parents and teachers start talking to their children about these sensitive topics? Standard one, standard two? According to many experts, even pre-school aged children can, and should, be taught to protect themselves.

In light of recent reports about child abuse, preschoolers are not only being told how special they are but during this March, Child Stimulation Month, children between the ages of three and five are also receiving valuable lessons about good versus bad touch.

Rose Jacobs, Principal, Sunshine Preschool

(demonstration with doll) “Whenever somebody touch you on your private parts, it is a very bad touch. It is not like touching you on the shoulders or your head; you feel comfortable with that. Whenever somebody touch you on your private parts, that is uncomfortable. You don’t feel well with it.”

The children at Sunshine Preschool were told that if someone touches them and makes them feel uncomfortable they should report the matter immediately to a responsible adult or teacher. Principal Rose Jacobs says even if your child’s school conducts such lesson, parents must also take the time to speak with their children.

Rose Jacobs

“Please don’t be afraid to talk to the children at this age because this is the age that they can understand it. Even though in our society we are kind of shy, kind of afraid to talk to our kids but I would tell parents to be more open to their child so that when these kinds of things occur, these children can be more aware of it.”

By the end of the short lesson, the sixty-three children all knew what to say if someone would touch them in a bad way.

Rose Jacobs

“Say no. What should you say?”

Children

“No!”

Rose Jacobs

“Don’t let anybody play with your private parts or even touch it. Tell them I am special and I need to be safe. Say it after me.”

Children

“I am special and I need to be safe.”

Jacob says once a child learns the importance of following the three Rs: Recognize that they are being touched in the wrong place, Resist and Report the incident to an adult, teacher or police, then they will be learning how to protect themselves from child abuse.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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