Tips for kids
you may have heard something about sexual abuse or you might even have talked
about it in school. Some parents are afraid for their children and don’t allow
them to play outside by themselves or to go to school on their own. On TV and
in the newspapers there is a lot of talk about sexual abuse and maybe that
Some men and even some women abduct children right from the streets or try to entice them to come along with them. But that happens only very, very rarely. If you follow these Tips for kids you can play outside safely.
Zartbitter Koeln is a counselling centre against sexual abuse of girls and boys. We wrote these Tips for kids for you because we know, there are grown-up men and women and adolescents who do stupid or disgusting things to girls and boys. Some men scare children or show them their penis or want to touch girls and boys in ways. Oftentimes these grown ups and adolescents are people you have known already for some time.
Our Tips for kids illustrate by way of examples how you can defend yourself against snatchers, gropers and penis-show-offs or how you can get help. Oftentimes it's difficult to help oneself without the help of others.
There are grown-ups and adolescents who are nice at one time but stupid at another. Then they want children for example to look at their penis or to touch their penis or vagina even though that is stupid for girls and boys.
Some men are just stupid. They are hanging around close to the school yard, swimming pools … and show their penis to children. You can simply call them Penis-show-offs. If you see such a Penis-show-off you can laugh at him or chase him away together with your friends. If you can’t do it by yourselves, ask some grown-ups for help!
If someone hurts your feelings, e.g. by swearing at you, scaring you or telling you a secret that makes you feel sad or worries you, it is ok for you to talk about it. That is no telling tales!
has the right to scare you with words, blows or nastiness. Grown-ups and
adolescents who scare girls and boys are mean!
Sometimes grown-ups simply touch children at their bums or feel inside their trousers even though that often feels strange or stupid to boys and girls. This is really mean especially if the child likes the grown-up. Girls and boys are always allowed to talk about it even if they liked it in the beginning or the grown-up said the boy or the girl is not allowed to tell anyone. Your body belongs to you! You decide who is allowed to get close to you or touch you and who is not! No one has the right to touch you against you will! Not even relatives, teachers or acquaintances! Exception: Sometimes someone has to touch you. For example if you get hurt, a doctor has to examine you. But if you like you can bring someone along so you’re not alone.
If someone gives you a present, you may very well accept it. You may also decline if you don’t want it. You don’t need to do anything to get a present, because you don’t have to pay for your presents. Relatives or friends who like to give you presents are happy for you if you like their present. If someone just gives you a present in order for you to do him or her a favour, that’s mean! If someone touches you strangely, tells you about unpleasant things, shows you disgusting pictures or tries to photograph you against your will, you have the right to say NO, even to be unfriendly, go wild, spit, run away. You may do anything that comes to your mind if you believe to be in danger.
You have the right to defend yourself against humiliating or obscene calls. If someone calls and tells you disgusting things you can just slam down the phone. If that person calls again you can take a whistle and blow it really loud into the receiver or you put a cooking pot over the receiver, take a spoon and bang against it. That person surely won’t call again because the noise hurts his or her ears! Girls and boys are also allowed to say NO to grown-ups. If a grown-up talks to you in the streets and asks you to show the way, you don’t have to give an answer if you don’t want to. He or she can just as well ask someone else or buy a map.
Sometimes grown-ups who want children to come with them say that something terrible has happened and the children should accompany them. But that is not true. Others try to persuade children to come along by saying they want to show them something or give them a present. Therefore it is important that you never get into a car before you asked your mother or father if it is all right for you to go with that person. Also, never go along with strangers.
You don’t have to tell anyone your name and address, not even people you know. If you are in danger, scream "Fire"! A lot of people overhear cries for help but react to the word "Fire", because they are nosy or they are afraid their house could be burning. But be sure not to shout "Fire" just for the fun of it!
Sometimes it’s difficult to defend yourself on your own. If you couldn't defend yourself: remember, it is not your fault!
Think who - other children and grown-ups - could help you. Take all your courage and ask them for help. If no one believes you at first or you cannot muster your courage in the beginning, don’t give up! Maybe you will succeed another day. Remember: It is not your fault!
We, the women and men of Zartbitter Koeln, also teach teachers, mothers and fathers everything they need to know about sexual abuse of girls and boys.
If you want to know more, you can go see a counselling centre close to you. In these centres there are women and men working who can help children with their problems. Maybe your friends know of such a counselling centre or you get the phone number from the directory enquiries, your teachers, your social workers at the youth centre or from other grown ups.
Zartbitter Koeln (Cologne)
Zartbitter Koeln is a contact- and information centre against sexual abuse of girls and boys.
Zartbitter Koeln (Cologne), Sachsenring 2-4, 50677 Koeln Germany
Account for donations:
Foerderverein Zartbitter e.V.
BfS (sort code 370 205 00) account number: 812 57 00
With the kind support of SONY
Tips for kids
Copyright: Zartbitter Koeln
Idea + Text: Ursula Enders
Layout: Dorothee Wolters, Koeln