At his last checkup, around his third birthday, my son Sam's most excellent pediatrician asked for his permission to touch his penis before examining it. Since then, Kate and I periodically will discuss with him who gets to touch him there (he does, mommy and daddy do and the doctor does, with Sam’s permission), and what to do if someone else touches him there, or tries to or asks to. Did I mention? He's THREE!
This is our world.
I'm about to begin my 21st year working for IMPACT Chicago, where I work with some of the most amazing people there are, to teach full-contact women's self-defense and rape prevention classes. This relates to what Kate and I are teaching our son because we live in world where predatory sexual violence happens. It happens, I'm convinced, in large part because the predators believe it is a low-risk crime to commit (that's not the only reason, of course, but it's a big one).
For years, IMPACT has been graduating classes of 9 to 16 women who have learned to ramp up predators’ risk level astronomically. If we do enough of that, maybe my son and daughter won't have to worry so much about teaching my grandchildren about who gets to touch them when they're three years old.
I've been doing this a long time. I've never met a woman who couldn't learn to defend herself. Please, look at the website, consider signing up or encouraging women you know to sign up. If enough potential predators get their asses kicked enough times, all our kids will grow up safer for it.
Mark Nessel, IMPACT Chicago Instructor