Here is what New York State's Office of Children & Family Services recommends that you tell your children about inappropriate touching:
- You are special and important.
- Your body is your own.
- You have the right to say "NO" if someone wants to touch you in any way that makes you feel uncomfortable, afraid or confused.
- There are parts of your body that are private. You have the right to say "NO" to anyone who wants to touch your vagina, penis, breasts or buttocks. You have my permission to say "NO" even if that person is an adult … even if it's a grown-up you know.
- Pay attention to your feelings. Trust your feelings about the way people touch you.
- If someone bothers you, I want you to tell me. I promise that I will believe you.
- If someone touches you in a way that does not seem right, it is not your fault.
Children need to know that the safety rules about touching apply all the time, not just with strangers … or with men … or with baby sitters. In many cases …children are sexually abused by people they know and trust [including] authority figures….
Also, abusers seldom need to use physical force…Unfortunately, abusers can use threats successfully because children are taught to believe and obey adults.
Excellent advice for children and for adults.
Authority figures, for example, may also use threats of violence to engage in abuse against adults, for example, "you will be blown up unless you let me touch your genitals and take naked pictures of you."