Child Abuse: How to guide your child about bad touch


Child abuse and sexual harassment are two social events that continue to exist despite the changing times. It is especially difficult to help young children understand such concepts and even more challenging to have them communicate the occurrence of such a vile act. Whose responsibility it is to guide a child about bad touch?

A ‘bad touch’ is any form of touch that causes the child to feel uncomfortable or fearful about the particular person who is touching them. It is the responsibility of the child’s parents, teachers, and elder siblings to teach a child about bad touch. Even grandparents and relatives do not carry such a responsibility; unless they are the child’s legal guardian.

Below are 10 tips that can help you guide your child about good touch and bad touch.


You must establish a strong rapport with your child, such that they trust you and know that they can come to you seeking help always. This is the most important step in teaching your child about bad touch.

2. Body ownership

Next, you must teach your child that their body belongs to them and hence only they possess the rights to their body; not even the child’s parents can touch the child without his/her permission.

3. Assertiveness

It is important to teach your child assertiveness, that is, knowing when to say ‘no’. A child has all the rights to deny any forms of physical contact that make them feel uncomfortable.

4. Use picture books or videos depicting good touch and bad touch 

Picture books and videos about good touch and bad touch can be used to more clearly help children understand their deep meanings.

5. The Swimsuit rule

The Swimsuit rule refers to the fact that all the parts of their body which are covered under a swimsuit should not be touched by anyone else.

6. Use the right language 

You must teach your child the proper terms of their genitals while discussing bad touch to them. No fancy or nicknames should be given to body parts.

7. Maintain a calm and casual tone 

You must use a calm, casual, and reassuring tone while explaining the children about bad touch. Be patient in answering their questions, no matter how dumb it may sound.

8. Never force any form of touch that makes them feel uncomfortable

Parents, relatives, and siblings should not force any form of physical contact on the child that makes them feel uncomfortable, even if it is a hug or a kiss. Parents should guide and supervise the child’s physical contacts with their relatives, but never impose any at the same time.

9. Help them understand that it is not their fault

You should be aware of your child’s activities and behaviour. If they are unable to prevent the occurrence of bad touch despite knowing about it, it is your role to help them not feel guilty and by reassuring them that it’s not their fault.

10. The Art of Self Defence

Teach your child self-defense, so that they know how to protect themselves and evade perpetrators.

The above-mentioned guide is applicable to both girl child as well as a boy child.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where sexual predators are roaming freely and can’t be identified easily.