Make home a place where your children can talk to you if they have questions about intimacy or are troubled about a sexual encounter.
In a 2018 survey we conducted in collaboration with Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Diploma in Psychology Studies programme, we found that young people have poor sexual health knowledge and prefer not to talk to their parents about sex and relationships. Many things, including parents’ judgmental attitudes towards physical intimacy, contribute to this communication breakdown between parent and child.
Home environments that treat the subject of sex – including sexual violence – as taboo can cause young people to feel less comfortable, or even afraid, to voice out should they have questions about sexual health, are curious about personal boundaries, or had a sexual encounter they are not sure about. Many SACC clients have shared how in opening up to parents or relatives about their experience of sexual abuse, they were met with disbelief, judgment and victim-blaming reactions, silencing them further.
Ready to make your home a safe, violence-free space for children and young people?
- Donate to our Aim for Zero campaign to support projects that nurture safe spaces at home, and workshops for young people and their parents to openly talk about sex, consent and relationships.
- Share our campaign video with your friends and family on your social media accounts with your own commitment to end sexual violence against young people and at home.
- Spread word of our services and programmes. Our Sexual Assault Care Centre (SACC) offers free and specialised services for survivors of sexual harassment and assault, as well as conduct trainings for social sector professionals. Catalyse Consulting runs training programmes for professionals, managers and employers on how to manage harassment in the workplace.
- Want to be a spokesperson for our next panel or talk? We’re looking for parents or professionals who work who can young people to share with others about their own experiences of parenting or starting difficult but necessary conversations about sex and consent with young people. Write to email@example.com
- Think outside the box! Reach out to us with ideas on how you want to support #AimForZero by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Join our workshop especially for parents – Birds & Bees: Starting open conversations about sex, consent and relationships at home.
Birds and Bees is an experiential workshop for parents, run by parents, to help you start the important and ongoing conversation about sex – in a values-sensitive, age-appropriate and non-judgmental way. No matter where you are in your parenting journey, this workshop will allow you to:
- Understand the lasting, positive impact of talking to your children about sex and relationships
- Introduce crucial information about consent, personal boundaries, and safety to your children
- Talk openly about the difference between respectful, healthy relationships, and abusive, unhealthy relationships
- Debunk myths and misinformation about sex (that even some adults believe!)
- Improve your communication with children on difficult or uncomfortable topics
- Create a home where your children are not afraid or wary of approaching you if they have questions or are troubled about a relationship or sexual encounter
- Part of your own parents’ group? Take our Birds & Bees workshop to your community! Write to email@example.com to arrange a session.
- Whether your child is in primary school, secondary school or in university, their school should have policies regarding sexual assault and harassment. Speak to the teachers in your child’s school to understand more about the school’s policy on addressing sexual violence, including the processes that a child has to go through, and how they will be supported throughout the process.
- Familiarise yourself with the relevant laws in Singapore, for example, regarding the age of consent. Understanding these laws will help you to communicate to your child in an age-appropriate way the serious consequences and impact of certain actions.
- Maintain an open home environment where your child is not afraid or wary of talking to you about issues like sexual violence. This will help your child be more comfortable coming to you if they have questions or are troubled about a relationship or sexual encounter.
- Consider organising events or discussions for other parents in your community. Check out the Singapore Children’s Society for more information, resources, and opportunities to participate in events.
- If your child or someone they know has experienced any kind of sexual violence, reach out to the Sexual Assault Care Centre.