Healthy Relationships Start With Healthy Conversations
Every Body Talk is a resource for parents and children alike, designed to encourage healthy conversations about our bodies.
The Story Behind Every Body Talk
A Baltimore family and a Baltimore non-profit came together to write Every Body Talk to create an easy, first step introduction to bodies and boundaries for kids. But it's not just terminology, this book includes a number of protective factors to support healthy relationships, sexual abuse prevention and ultimately, sexual assault prevention.
Join nine, adorably relatable characters on a rhyming journey through everyday moments. The situations help children develop the knowledge and language to accomplish the major first step in ensuring child safety - that you and your child can discuss anything of concern when it comes to them and their body.
From eyes, ears, mouth and nose to penis and vagina, teaching your child the anatomical names of their body parts is an additional protective factor to help protect against sexual abuse. This way they are less likely to be embarrassed about asking questions or telling you if someone is touching them inappropriately. (Dona Matthews, Ph.D. Psychology Today).
After you've gotten the terms correct, you and your child can discuss how we clean, cover and care for our body parts. Then, in colorful and relaxed settings you review what are safe and comfortable ways to play with others. Here you and your little one can go over some things to say if they don't like how someone is playing or making them uncomfortable. Say "That's not something I want to do." or "I'd like my space." Empowering them to use these words.
We even added in additional examples around personal space like touching someone's wheelchair or hair. A Disability Rights Activist informed this book to support inclusivity of different abilities. Together, you see situations the characters face with both peers and adults to help discuss different scenarios that may feel unsafe. Through it all, your child can be reminded, they can talk to you about anything that makes them uncomfortable or scared.
In addition to learning about their own space, this book includes respecting other people's space too. Every Body Talk is written in a trauma-informed language as reading this book may bring up experiences. It is important to remember it is never the fault of the victim. When a child shares a personal experience with you, it's important to listen, believe them, praise them for sharing and seek support if needed. They will learn that teasing and touching can happen in different places, not just at school. This allows for your conversation to support their daily life experiences.
Many types of trusted loved ones are portrayed throughout the book as sexual violence impacts all communities. A racial equity consultant informed this book to ensure a variety of communities were portrayed appropriately and included. In the end, children are reminded of 3 simple steps about their bodies, space and telling a grown-up they trust about anything that happens.
Help make your conversation about your child's body and boundaries easier with Every Body Talk. Child protection is a lifelong conversation and Every Body Talk is only the beginning.