NSPCC TALK PANTS - THE UNDERWEAR RULE
Teach your child the Underwear Rule and help protect them from abuse. It's a simple way that parents can help keep children safe from sexual abuse – without using scary words or even mentioning sex.
PANTS is a really easy way for you to explain the Underwear Rule to your child:
- Privates are private
- Always remember your body belongs to you
- No means no
- Talk about secrets that upset you
- Speak up, someone can help
Privates are private
Be clear with your child that the parts of their body covered by underwear are private.
Explain to your child that no one should ask to see or touch their private parts or ask them to look at or touch anyone else's.
Sometimes doctors, nurses or family members might have to. Explain that this is OK, but that those people should always explain why, and ask your child if it's OK first.
Always remember your body belongs to you
Let your child know their body belongs to them, and no one else.
No one has the right to make them do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. And if anyone tries, tell your child they have the right to say no.
Remind your child that they can always talk to you about anything which worries or upsets them
No means no
Make sure your child understands that they have the right to say "no" to unwanted touch – even to a family member or someone they know or love.
This shows that they're in control of their body and their feelings should be respected.
If a child feels confident to say no to their own family, they are more likely to say no to others.
Talk about secrets that upset you
Explain the differences between 'good' and 'bad' secrets.
Phrases like "it's our little secret" are an abuser's way of making a child feel worried, or scared to tell someone what is happening to them.
Good secrets can be things like surprise parties or presents for other people.
Bad secrets make you feel sad, worried or frightened.
Your child needs to feel able to speak up about secrets that worry them and confident that saying something won't get them into trouble.
Telling a secret will never hurt or worry anybody in your family or someone you know and love
Speak up, someone can help
Tell your child that if they ever feel sad, anxious or frightened they should talk to an adult they trust.
This doesn't have to be a family member. It can also be a teacher or a friend's parent – or even ChildLine.
Remind them that whatever the problem, it's not their fault and they will never get into trouble for speaking up.
Who to contact
- Contact Name
- Helen Westerman
- Contact Position
- NSPCC Campaigns Manager
- 07870 164 937
HELPLINE FOR ADULTS CONCERNED ABOUT A CHILD 0808 800 5000
HELPLINE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE CALL CHILDLINE 0800 1111
CARELINE LIVERPOOL 0151 233 3700
Where to go
- Hargreaves Centre
112, Great Homer Street
- L5 3LQ
In June, the NSPCC and Liverpool Safeguarding Children Board launched the PANTS campaign for the city. Talking PANTS is a simple way that parents can help keep their children safe from sexual abuse – without using scary words or even mentioning sex. The simple, age appropriate advice is helping parents to talk to their children about staying safe. To encourage even more parents to share these simple rules with their children, a new song and animation is now available which introduces ‘Pantosaurus’, the pant-wearing dinosaur.
We know that for many parents the idea of talking to their child about staying safe from sexual abuse can be overwhelming – and, although they know it’s an important conversation to have, they just don’t know how to go about it. They also worry about what’s the appropriate age to start the conversations but evidence suggests that messages about staying safe are the most effective when taught to a child at an early age. This local campaign complements the NSPCC’s Speak Out, Stay Safe programme which is aiming to visit every primary school in Liverpool advising children from age 4-11 years about how to stay safe from all forms of abuse.
PANTS is designed especially for 4-11 year-olds. The child-friendly language, colourful pictures and engaging characters makes it easy for parents to start the conversation with their child, sharing three key messages – that their body belongs to them, that they have the right to say no and to tell someone they trust if they’re ever worried about anything. It’s been adapted for use with children and parents with a mild/moderate learning disability and made into a short video for deaf/hard of hearing children and their families. There is additional guidance for foster carers and early years providers who may want to use it in pre-school settings. There is a PANTS school’s resource for KS1 pupils and it’s also been translated in several different languages.
We’d really appreciate you sharing the PANTS messages with families you come into contact with, either professionally or personally. All the materials are available to download, free of charge, from the NSPCC website:
If you would like to know more about the campaign, would like hard copy resources or to request an information session about how your organisation can promote PANTS, please contact:
Helen Westerman, NSPCC Campaigns Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 07870 164937