This is the second part of Ginger’s interview. Ginger Kadlec is a child advocate, blogger, and child interviewer. Please read and share this post with everyone!
5.) Would you talk a bit about ‘body safety’ and how it helps children feel more secure?
Body safety is an amazing program! I’m continually amazed at the response we receive to this 20(ish)-minute class. We cover quite a bit of ground in that short amount of time, including:
- The difference between “good” and “bad” touches
- How to say “NO!!!” to a bad touch and what to do next
- Discussion of proper body part names
- Who to talk to if someone tries to touch a private body part
- Age-appropriate real life examples/stories of things that could happen
The body safety message is shared in a child-friendly fashion that isn’t scary, but that is ‘real’. During these classes, children are engaged, ask questions and eagerly offer responses. Teachers and administrators consistently rate the program and presenters highly, and each year additional schools in central Indiana register for the program.
One component of the program is that the instructor shows a police badge (some are fake, like mine, but there are several volunteer police officers who use their real badges) and asks for student volunteers to leave the room with the instructor so their private body parts can be checked out to be sure they are okay. Inevitably, about half the kindergarten class will raise their hands to leave with the instructor… scary. Those numbers dwindle as the children get older, but inevitably, hands will rise. This offers an opportunity to discuss “tricks” that “people with their thinking messed-up” will try to play. It also allows us to reinforce that NO ONE has the right to touch a private body part for no good reason or just to play a game, regardless of the job they have, how old or big they are, or their relation. It’s a powerful message that reassures children their bodies belong to them!
6.) How do you keep motivated and positive?
I love what I do! When I first became involved in child advocacy, I thought, “There is NO WAY I could ever be an interviewer.” And while it can be tough and there are cases that do haunt me, I know I am making a difference in helping to protect children from some terrible situations. Plus, the people I have the opportunity to work with (like other child advocacy, law enforcement, case managers and prosecution professionals) are AMAZING! They are the ones who deal with these cases day-in, day-out. I deeply admire and find inspiration in their dedication and passion.
I also am motivated by the people with whom I’m connecting (like YOU) via social media! The fact that so many people are rallying behind the cause to raise awareness of child abuse prevention simply fires me up! It’s also been incredibly humbling to hear from abuse survivors who have reached out to share their stories…they are the inspiration behind starting the “Hopeful Hints”. Have I mentioned that I love what I do???
7.) Do you have any suggestions for anyone else who wants to make a difference and contribute something to the children in this world?
There are countless opportunities for people to help children. One super-simple step to help raise awareness is to share, re-tweet and post information via social media. There are many volunteer opportunities to work with children in your community. If you are interested in helping abused children or preventing child abuse, I recommend contacting a child advocacy center in your area to discuss volunteering. Women’s shelters, schools, after-school programs and community centers are always in need of helping hands. Also, most of these organizations rely on the generosity of donors and sponsors for their funding – financial contributions are crucial and always appreciated. Many have fundraisers and need volunteers to help with those.
Finally, if you suspect or even have the slightest inkling that a child is being abused or neglected, PLEASE be the voice for that child and contact:
- Your local law enforcement agency or dial 911
- The National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)
- Your local Department of Child Services or Child Protective Services
Thank you, Ginger, for answering all my questions so completely! I have learned a great deal from all the information. I so appreciate everything you’re doing! Please visit Ginger’s website for more information.
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