Education, Social Campaigns
Comments 13


NSPCC_PANTS_Talkpants AW.indd

If you know me at all, you know that I have for many years longed to make a difference in this world and have been actively and vocally advocating for change, especially when it comes to vulnerable children and adults.

So, when last week, NSPCC approached me as a blogger and invited me to be part of their Underwear rule campaign, I felt hugely privileged to be allowed to use my public voice to raise awareness about such a sensitive topic like keeping children safe from sexual abuse.

I will start this post by saying that as a young girl raised in communist Romania, I consider myself extremely lucky to have had two very near sexual abuse misses.

One occurred one hot summer day, when I was visiting my mum in the hospital where she worked. I don’t know where my brother was that time, we usually did everything together and I am sure, his presence acted as a safety shield many times from sexual predators. But this time, he wasn’t there, my mum’s work place was hot so I went outside for a bit of fresh air. I remember this young guy approaching me, he was no older than 16, I assume, and asking me if I wanted the special pen that he had dangling from his neck. I loved stationery even then and the lure of a new pen(yes, it takes THAT little!!) made it worthwhile in my head, to accompany him down some dark steps.

My “luck” was that he walked in front and not behind me. Something spooked me. And I had a change of mind, fast legs and a presence of spirit that was uncharacteristic to a young child.

I ran to safety.

I even placed the darn pen on the steps for him to find and retrieve, I didn’t want anything from him!

I didn’t know but somehow, I suspected that something horrible was going to happen to me if I walked a step further.

What I wish to have known is PANTS, the Underwear Rules that the NSPCC is trying to make parents and carers aware of:

  • Privates are private
  • Always remember your body belongs to you
  • No means no
  • Talk about secrets that upset you
  • Speak up, someone can help

What I wish is that such things existed back then, in the communist Romania and that my mum had had a conversation to me about these things, making me aware in a simple way, of sexual predators.

As it turned out, I didn’t even have the courage to tell my mum what happened(and prevent that guy from doing the same thing again to other little girls, more importantly!) because I assumed that somehow it had been my fault, being lured in, and that I will be told off!

Sadly, these things continue to happen more often than we know.

They happen closer to us than we will ever want to know.

And if we want to protect our children from them, we need to speak openly and age-appropriately about the subject, we need to tell them clearly these things are preventable and not in any way, their fault.

By empowering our children with knowledge and age-appropriate information, we will be hopefully raising a generation of children who know not only about virtual world dangers but also about much closer ones and how to protect themselves against them efficiently.

I have already had a conversation with Emma on the subject. I will be using the PANTS steps again, to make it very clear to her, that even at 5, she can protect herself from abuse.

NSPCC_PANTS_Talkpants AW.indd I will continue to talk PANTS!

The @NSPCC Underwear Rule is a simple conversation you can have with your child to help keep them safe from abuse.

I am spreading the word and sharing with all the parents parents reading this post today #TalkPANTS.

Disclosure: we have been asked to raise awareness about the campaign by NSPCC. We were not remunerated in any way to write this post.


  1. nessjibberjabberuk says

    It’s scary how easily these things can happen. I wonder how many children have experienced awful things.

  2. karaguppy2015 says

    That is a brilliant campaign – there is so much pressure on kids these days

  3. Michelle Twin Mum says

    That acronym is so good and a really eas way for my kids to remember what is OK and what is not, we will be having a cnversaton about this. Thanks. Mich x

  4. We have drummed this in to the boys since they were small. I think that it is easier to talk to you children if you are not embarrassed about stuff like this

  5. It’s good to try to get subjects like this out in the open, without scaring children, as I think embarrassment is often the reason why they don’t speak up when they need to.

  6. It’s so important to have these conversations with our children. We’re quick to talk to them about how to stay safe doing things like crossing the road and this should be no different. This is a very worthwhile campaign.

  7. oh my goodness, i am so pleased it was near misses and not successful! .. what a great campaign this is. I am sure there used to be a similar one when i was little that my Mum told me about

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