Don’t Go Shhh! Learn the Formula of Protecting Yourself!
It is a natural human instinct to be cautious in situations that may cause us harm. Don’t we look both ways before we cross the street? However, there are several situations that can be more difficult to navigate, such as when our physical boundaries are violated. We get confused and don’t know how to respond. In such circumstances, we are not comfortable and become unsure of whether such behaviour is okay. As a result, we are unable to stop the action or say “No”.
But don’t worry! Today we will guide you on how to set healthy physical boundaries and protect yourself in such situations.
First things first! Everyone needs to remember the golden rule:
“My Body is mine and I have the right to protect my body”.
It is very important for us to learn that we all have our own physical space and comfort zone which is supposed to be respected and taken care of.
But now the question arises: How do we identify if our physical space has been broken?
One of the main ways to determine this, is by learning the difference between a good touch and bad touch. Any touch that makes you feel comfortable is a good touch, such as a hug from your mum or friend. However, a touch that makes you feel uncomfortable or causes you any sort of discomfort is considered a bad touch, such as a tight and lingering hug from an aunt/uncle or touch on the private parts. So if you sense an uncomfortable feeling rising within your body while someone is hugging you or touching you, then you need to stop that person right away!
Another important aspect is to develop ownership over our bodies. This can be achieved by developing a conceptual understanding of public and private body parts. Public body parts are the parts that can be seen by anyone such as face, hands and feet. Private body parts are those that cannot be seen or touched by anyone unless it is for health and hygiene purpose.
However, in situations where doctor wants to examine your private body parts then you need to question and understand the purpose of the examination. For instance, if your complaint is cough and sore throat, the doctor shouldn’t request to examine your genitals. If he says that he needs to do overall body examination and you start feeling uncomfortable, then you have to say NO explicitly.
Do not wait for someone to come and stop the doctor from examining you. You can always call for help but also remember that it is you who can stop the doctor because your body is yours!
Lastly, whenever you experience situations where your physical space has not been respected, don’t feel ashamed or guilty – remember, it is NOT your fault! Instead be brave and strong, and stand up for yourself against the abuser by saying NO – as this is your right! Don’t hesitate to share this situation with someone you trust the most. Always remember that keeping such body secrets are not healthy.