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  • Children's Book Teaches Kids How to Love and Protect Their Bodies

    "It's never too early to teach children that their body belongs to them."
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
Children's Book Teaches Kids How to Love and Protect Their Bodies
PHOTO BY powerinherstory.com
  • "Every 53 minutes, a woman or child is raped in the Philippines. Seven out of 10 victims are children."

    Those heartbreaking facts come from the Center for Women's Resources, according to the Power In Her Story, an independent publishing house that produces books focused on women's rights and gender equality.

    One of their publications is the children's book I Love My Body by Filipina artist and feminist Nikki Luna. In her interview on ANC Headstart, Nikki says what moved her to write the book was because "most children are not empowered with information that they own their bodies, that this is their right."

    PHOTO BY powerinherstory.com
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    Nikki says it is something parents themselves unwittingly ignore with simple acts like instructing their child to kiss a relative. "Most of the time, even on our own...we force children to kiss an auntie, a tito, a tita, a friend.

    Is it wrong to force kids to do this? Nikki, who is herself a mom to two young daughters, responds to host Karen Davila by saying, "The intention is not wrong. We try to show respect by greeting them. And here in the Philippines, we greet them with beso or kissing. That, for the elder people, is respect. But then, if you force a child, then you're also not teaching consent at a young age."

    Consent is defined as permission for something to happen or agreement to do something, which minors, with their young minds, cannot give. "Minors can never give their full consent because they don't fully know what they are consenting to. Children do not have the emotional capability of understanding what is going on," writes marketing guru Josiah Go in his paper called "50 Q&A on Child Sex Abusefor his Christian Sexual Ethics class. 

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    A chilling fact common among rape cases involving children is that the sexual assault is done by someone known or close to the child. "You know most cases, when rape happens, when sexual assault happens... it's people that you actually know. That's how you take advantage of victims," reveals Nikki during the interview.

    It is probably for this reason that the book I Love My Body was written as a children's book. It features beautiful illustrations by Julienne Dadivas and uses short, simple statements that even very young kids will understand.

    Recently, broadcaster Nina Corpuz, who is a mom to three kids — two of them, girls — shared on Instagram a video of her 6-year-old daughter Stella reading it aloud.

    Nina captioned the video post, "My 6 year old daughter, a bookworm, got hold of I Love My Body also by Nikki. She started reading it out loud. I think she is about to cost me my job, what do you think? Haha. It's never too early to teach children that their body belongs to them."

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    The book is not only there to educate; it is also a call to action. Says Nikki on an Instagram post, "I want girls to speak up, to learn the power of consent, they can say NO and assert themselves."

    To get a copy of the book, get in touch with Power In Her Story through sisters@powerinherstory.com. 

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