LN – Prevention: How to talk about sexual abuse with boys?


Out of fear, guilt, helplessness or shame, most girls, boys and adolescents who are victims of sexual abuse are silent for a long time. They tend to feel complicit in the situation, especially since when they are very young, they do not fully understand what is happening to them. Therefore, it is essential to teach children to take care of their body, to know their intimate parts and, above all, the differences between good, confusing and bad “touches.”

Paula Wachter, founder of Network for Children, and Unicef ​​provide a series of practical tips for parents seeking to encourage boys and girls to be openly communicative about sexual issues.

one. Teach them since they learn to speak to name the body parts and sexual areas; not to use fancy names but the right ones: penis and vulva.

2. Let them know that they have the right to decide about their own body.

3. Promote the autonomy of the child to go to the bathroom, dress and bathe. Teach them that since 3 years they no longer need help to take care of their private parts.

Four. It is recommended that fathers and mothers do not bathe naked with their children, or since they are babies. It is a way of not normalizing that there is a naked body next to the child's body. For the same reason, do not give “kisses” in the mouth.

5. Explain that they can say NO! when they don't want to be touched, even in ways that aren't sexual, like a hug. “If from a very young age you repeated that nobody can touch their private parts and you recorded that phrase on fire, that is the best refuge for your son,” Wachter points out.

6. Teach them the difference between good secrets (a surprise birthday, for example) and bad ones. What is a bad secret? The one that children are supposed to keep forever and hides actions that are not right. The children's band Canticuenticos made the subject
“There are secrets” where he addresses in a very simple and understandable way for the boys that “You don't have to keep, the secrets they do wrong”.

7. Within the artistic field, literature can also be useful for opening dialogue with children. Books like
What color are your secrets?, by Margarita García Marqués, promote emotional expression. On each page of the story, the author invites the boys to explain if they have secrets, what kind and what color they are: “Dark secrets can have a good solution if we learn to explain them to a trusted adult: mom , to dad, or to the teacher, “he says. Another proposal is
Iripina's Backpack, by the psychologist Paula Vessoni and disseminated through the campaign
ANIMATE YOURSELF Silvina Díaz and Gabriela Pacheco, who tells the true story of a girl who was sexually abused and managed to get ahead in a creative and hopeful way. “In a letter at the end of the book, Iripina encourages children who have gone through a situation of abuse to talk and assures them that there will always be someone who can listen to them. The story makes this theme visible and enables dialogue between adults and children. children or adolescents, to get out of the trap of silence and secrecy, “says Vessoni.

8. Integral sex education (ESI) plays a fundamental role in preventing and giving children tools so they can tell what happens to them. Many cases of sexual abuse against children and adolescents were detected in schools thanks to ESI. The specialist Eva Giberti, psychologist and coordinator of the program Victims Against Violence, adds: “ESI has a fundamental role. Whatever your age, you have to explain to the boys' your body is yours, you don't have to let them touch you the pito or the vulva ', it is essential to speak a correct language “.

9. In children from 10 years old you can already talk about what abuse is, without scaring them, but by providing tools and advice, for example, explaining that they have to be careful where they dress and get undressed, and giving them confidence so they can Tell if something happens to them.

What are the warning signs of abuse?


Where to ask for help

Line 0800-222-1717: The Victims Against Violence Program. Ministry of Justice of the Nation

.Line 137: The Victims Against Violence Program. Attention Brigade (CABA)

. Access to Justice Centers (CAJ). Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of the Nation (

Line 102: Line of attention to NNyA (children and adolescents). It operates in 15 jurisdictions of the country – Line 102: NNyA service line. It operates in 15 jurisdictions of the country.

To make complaints, contact the police stations, the Women's Police Station, the criminal prosecutors or specific fiscal units for crimes against sexual integrity, criminal and family courts, counseling or the Ombudsman for Minors (in the case of minors ).

In addition, there are several organizations that can assist you. You can contact Red x La Infancia by mail to
[email protected] and Adultxs for children's rights to
[email protected]

(tagsToTranslate) Prevention: How to talk about sexual abuse with boys? – THE NATION

Publicado en el diario La Nación